365 Poems/85 Offering (Rough First Draft)


You land one paw against the door,

then two. The cabin trembles like

another Arctic storm is approaching,

more terrible than the last.


You lean your full weight, and things

start to loosen, twist and break. I can hear

your claws, the soft pads of your paws

against the frosty wood.


The possibility of one day getting

so close I could see individual hairs,

is one of the things that’s kept me here,

in this wooden cubby hole. Kept me away

from walking over the edge of crevasses,

lurching out while storms hammered the land,

and diving off sea ice, leaving no footprints.

I made friends with madness a long time ago.


Sweat has settled just above my top lip.

I wonder if you can smell it.


The cold comes in with you.

We look at each other.


There is going to be no easing into this,

yet I am feeling calm. You steadily move

closer, your great body brushing tins,

cups and books off shelves, and tables.


You are clean. Your guard hairs

not yet yellowed by age, and there

is a smell about you, of fish and iron.

You are young. You will eat protein-rich

red flesh, preparing your body for cubs

that will be born blind.


One day, you will probably starve to death,

after swimming for hundreds of miles in open water.

I offer myself to you and you accept.