Sarah Lilius

Bear Violence


Chews at my face, nose first, cheeks,

two red lips.


Someone get me

handkerchief, tea towel, washcloth.


Blood won’t scab, won’t listen,

to stop like a hardness eventually

becomes soft.


I sit. I gather

evidence against you, and you, and him.


Dark open fields of lost replace

savage memories,


the closed doors,

the lights off, the way a girl is gone,


hovers to don a grimace, bears loose

in the neighborhood, a body could

get mauled.


So hide in the closet,

the bathroom, car trunk, until

you hear the shuffle, the slight



I don’t want to ruffle

fur, let claws penetrate skin

and skin,         should I remember to heal?


Snippets let the pain

in slow as a probe, looking


in my body for black nights,


no stars.


Sarah Lilius is the author of the chapbooks What Becomes Within (ELJ Editions, 2014), The Heart Factory (Black Cat Moon Press, 2016), GIRL (dancing girl press. 2017), and Thirsty Bones (Blood Pudding Press). Selected publications include Denver Quarterly, Court Green, BlazeVOX, Bluestem, Tinderbox, Hermeneutic Chaos, Stirring, Luna Luna Magazine, Entropy, and Flapperhouse. In 2016, Sarah was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Sarah lives in Arlington, VA with her husband and two sons. Sarah can be reached online at

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