Jules Gibbs

Rain Sonnets
August 21, 2019 Gibbs Jules

[When the bear finally arrives, he’s starving.]

When the bear finally arrives, he’s starving.
He wants whatever’s in my little blue
basket, the Tupperware and the bronze
dildo that drove the emperor wild. The seals
are in cahoots, cheering from the waves, clapping
flippers. Outlaw of satisfaction, I forget
they eat flesh, mine if they can get it.
Carnivorous mouths of mist and vague;
I want the bear to grasp the dildo
to see how it behaves in his clutch;
to behold the bear beholding and not know
if it’s a sandwich or a six shooter,
and when he discovers it is neither,
like me — to not be able to name that feeling.

[The furniture breaks under you]
The furniture breaks under you
while you figure out what makes
blue blue. A grave settles seaward.
The dull birds have wants, a justice
that won’t map on. It’s the only music
they know, a you that’s really an I.
The pulse and minus of a man
who permeates my skin. My veins
outbeaming in death practice. A
tongue to gag. It’s all untrue.
Sleep is where I fear, and fear never
needs me to know a thing. Like the
cat, the soul can’t decide:
it wants in, then out, then in again.

Jules Gibbs is the author of two books of poems, Bliss Crisis, and Snakes & Babies (forthcoming), both published by The Sheep Meadow Press, as well as two chapbooks, Songuary (forthcoming) and The Bulk of the Mailable Universe (dancing girl press.) She teaches literature and creative writing at Syracuse University, and serves as poetry editor for The Progressive Magazine, and for Corresponding Voices, a cross-cultural, bilingual journal and reading series produced by Punto de Contacto Gallery in Syracuse.