As children, my cousin and I once
dug into the side of our mountain,
a terrible brown work.
That morning we’d made the cold walk
to the hospital and watched
his mother for a long time.
She was unchained from her machines,
shrinking into ordinary.
It was our first death,
and we looked at our small hands.
But no, my cousin insisted,
these are not our hands,
they are bear hands.
And we walked to our mountain,
shaped our cave:
one meter, two meters, three.
We bears were making a home.
We roared, and shook off our human bones,
until angels howled like dogs
in the valley below.
Jacob Shores-Argüello. “Make Believe” from Paraíso. Copyright © 2017 by The University of Arkansas Press. Reprinted with the permission of the publisher, www.uapress.com.