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Cougar


In this narrow passage I must appear as large
As possible, arms uplifted into what might

Be thought of as god and the idea of how
To get past even this without being killed,

Taken away, for somewhere in the act of want
Is being wanted, and we move

Over the frozen ground in the presumption
One of us will suffer and only one of us will be

Exact enough, which is why I came alone,
Following a creek back up its last place

To see how far I could go, with the raven
Who will not end his circle, the wind as it

Turns through a gnarl of bristlecone. We were
Never meant to be this close and to survive.   


—Sophie Cabot Black

Sophie Cabot Black’s first book of poems, The Misunderstanding of Nature, received the 1994 Norma Farber Book Award from the Poetry Society of America. Her second book is forthcoming in 2004.



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