Dear Bear,                                                                                                                                  

don’t be shy. I know you have been watching me as you would a salmon tailing up the river—I
recognize that white glint in your eye. Don’t hide—come closer to me with your awkward,
lovely gait, and nuzzle my ears with a low growl; come and feel slowly, with your sharp bear
claw, a woman’s tender spine reverberate. It is all right, I like you warm-blooded. I’m sure such
gentle heat can’t compare to any winter coat. So stir before solitude floods your skin and don’t
go hibernating, leaving me awake, searching for your

stars at the sea,

(I see you don’t dare hug my shoulders. You fear denting bone, but you underestimate me.
Underneath this spring dress dappled with grass sap, I keep a thousand layers of skin petals, and
over it, an amphibian film of toxic spit. Though surely, if handled well, medicinal—like
everything else in this world. Press your finger-claw through my hand, convince yourself that
I’m not made of glass—see how we are both omnivores of rugged meat. No need to hold back

                                                                                                                                                              any truth,)

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About Ae Hee Lee

Ae Hee Lee
Ae Hee Lee is South Korean by birth and Peruvian by memory. She received her MFA in Poetry from the University of Notre Dame, where she was awarded with the 2016 Billy Maich Academy of American Poets Prize. She is now a PhD candidate at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in the field of Creative Writing. Her poetry has been published or is forthcoming at the Denver Quarterly, Hawai’i Review, Public Pool, and The Margins, among others.