By Eleonora Luongo
Creatures here keep circular time,
snow silent among the trees.
Silhouetted against that other circle, light.
In dark winter dens,
February bear cubs born blind and brown,
small as a cup of coffee.
Clambering for mother’s milk. Mother,
who is not hibernating through this, by the way, not like they told you,
not sleeping and then stirring awake in spring.
Not surprised to be a family. Who told you this?
Surely not a mother. She’d know
there’s no sleeping through bodies ripping apart,
breaking from before into mother, solo into protector.
The tugging at the teats, hunger hunger
hunger for milk and fur and heat and
Are there fewer cubs this year, and is this something the mother knows?
She lumbers out earlier every year. For now,
loamy earth hidden below snow even as daylight lengthens.
Still time to rest, now. Does she know
less sleep means more
hunger, and more need:
Bony Moon, Hungry Moon.
What happens when there’s no longer enough?
When trees become myth, the small beasts hungry
hungry, hungry. When food is missing?
Eleonora Luongo holds an MFA from Rutgers University-Newark, where she currently works as Communications Director for the School of Arts & Sciences-Newark. Her poetry has appeared in Bellevue Literary Review, Black Telephone Magazine, No Tender Fences: An Anthology of Immigrant & First-Generation American Poetry, Divine Feminist: An Anthology of Poetry & Art by Womxn & Non-Binary Folx, Hecate: Decay, Blood & Bourbon, and others. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter.