Liberty Heise


Polar bear's fur isn't white


Polar bear's fur isn't white
it's a kind of yellow that is indicative of various
variations on snow.

Because porcupines never talked to us,
we were forced to see their dislike of our dogs
as a complete affront.

My mother spoke for them
motioning towards their fragile frames
until we understood that we knew them not.

Quills are incredibly hard to extract from
the jaws of dingos.

When the birds say something, I'm usually doing something
requiring both hands but not both eyes.
I require a note taken down
but no notes are taken.

I don't even consult the bird book.

Your red head defies your definition as
red bellied.

Let the orange pass the lips of students
But I've never found a single one of your feathers.

When we speak as a group about evolution
I look at my very own hands
we don't know our own stories
we don't know very much at all.

And when it's a snow day
we tie ourselves so far inside
we don't get to know whether the bellied or breasted
or arctic of offspring are anything

Certain as it may be
that all is in it's place until the morning.




There is a dent in my tooth


Notes were taken on Grizzly bear teeth

In her 4th year of observation
her own teeth chipped

You could call it a hibernation
the way the hearts of so many beat
together in the marbled interior

The way we have been riding elevator
after elevator to the top or bottom
of this carpeted forest

She decided not to call the dentist
right away and instead
pointed needles crosswise
making excess comments about excess
lifting another cookbook up
to it's improper place among the small
drinking glasses of a galley kitchen

The cookbook and glass holding perfect
balance before either slips off the shelf

Teeth might begin white
but they leave the body in various shades
held up
we color all things with the primaries we
first witnessed them as

What you are
alone within the masses
finds your weakest point
your most leadened area

And still, and yet, here the Grizzlies were
just beating gums