Monday, August 18, 2014

Charles in Permanent Hibernation

He huddles in his den, a bear 
whose hide hangs from his shoulders 
like an ill-fitting coat patched together 
with more scars and bald spots
than actual fur. He chuckles sardonically 
to himself, paws shaking 
in his lap, glancing up slyly
now and then but mostly content
to stare at the carpet and hold 
his cigarette, barely even sucking 
at it, letting it transform into ash.
He is perpetually woozy 
not from a long Winter nap
 but from high doses of prescription
tranquilizers. Occasionally he’ll shamble
to the bathroom, past the cat dishes,
past the precarious stack of paperbacks, 
but mostly he just stays in this room,
with its blankets tacked up over 
windows glazed amber with nicotine, 
air thick and close, time standing
as still as it can, afraid that if it makes 
any sudden moves
he will snarl and swipe at it 
with his claws, tear it to crumbs
with his teeth, crooked and yellow
but still very, very sharp

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