The Great Bear

By: Jacob Dimpsey

i ask sophia how far the stars
of the great bear are from earth
and she says i don’t know isaac
stars are always drifting farther apart
because the universe is always expanding
did you know the iroquois saw three hunters

in the sky behind the great bear
think about it for thousands of years
hunters always hunting the bear
always hunted i wonder if someone
born on another planet would see a bear
and hunters like we do sophia rests her head

on the crest of my chest her body
is a silhouette indistinguishable
from my body against the faint light
pollution of tucson emanating from behind
the mountain there is no moon tonight
just the stars and tucson to light us and

the earth i breathe and sophia’s
body moves if i really try i can feel
the earth turn under our bodies
feel it carry us around the sun
the philosopher wondered what
separates one object from another

when objects are just composites of
atoms and objects are always spilling
their atoms into other objects given
enough time a nickel left on a refrigerator
will fuse to the refrigerator so can the nickel
still be called a nickel the refrigerator still

be called a refrigerator these are the things
sophia laughs at me for thinking about
she tells me objects are objects because
that’s what we call them and of course
she’s right she’s always right
she runs her hand across my stomach

my chest she says can i tell you the iroquois
myth of the great bear and the three hunters
i say of course and so i listen to her tell
the story in a hushed voice pointing out
the hunters and the bear in the sky with
an arm pale blue in the starlight

her chest is rising and falling softly on top of mine
the hunters are moving across the sky
in the summer always hunting the autumn always killing
the universe is expanding hunters drifting
farther from the bear given enough time we’ll cease to
recognize them as such and we’ll call them something else

Jacob Dimpsey is a recent graduate of Susquehanna University where he earned his BA in Creative Writing. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Flock and Plain China. He resides in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania with his wife, Stephanie.