J. P. Dancing Bear


I am the sky turned upside-down, where my shadow can mix
among the reflected ferns and trees. Mine is a song of bending
water and dappled sky and a single red balloon tugging its tether
tied to my finger—a ribbon to a bow like something not to be
forgotten or lost but per chance set free if I were to believe
in such a thing for anything. But consider the arguments against:
air trapped within skin; the framing of light; the black within
my own shadow; what lies beneath the surface of this stream.
Everything is free to think it is free even as it remains held in
place by other things equally believing in freedom. This is
how tensions build, how punctures happen, how suddenly a burst
of air escapes, only to be reclaimed to the atmosphere. Dams break
and water simply returns to the ocean—disasters in the wake.
More entropy, which is, of course, another unforgiving closure.

J. P. Dancing Bear is editor for the American Poetry Journal and Dream Horse Press. Bear also hosts the weekly hourlong poetry show, Out of Our Minds, which airs on public station KKUP and is available in podcast. He is the author of thirteen collections of poetry. His latest book is Love is a Burning Building (FutureCycle Press, 2014).