My Dream From Within the Constellation of Ursa Major

by Constance Frenzen

From deep within the constellation
of her stars, I entered the Great She Bear
in her cage, its bars pressing against
her shoulders as she lay crunched in a curl,
unable to do anything but lay in her filth
and breathe.

Teeth pulled out, claws yanked out,
paw pads sliced off, she moaned
in excruciating pain as they pushed
the metal catheter into the festering hole
punctured in her stomach, to harvest
her gallbladder for bile. A living
sacrifice in the name of balancing
the human imbalance of yin and yang.

Helpless to help her, I begged escape
but the nightmare held me inside
her horror, crunched in a curl,
unable to do anything but lay in her filth
and breathe.

I extended my inhales and held,
slowly exhaling, remembering
the steps to centering my breath
but each time I took in the stench
of her matted fur and puked.

I attempted to meditate on the yin/yang
symbol, its harmony of opposites—
black and white
but I couldn’t find, in her lifeless eyes,
the requisite white dot—the yin
in her darkness and would hear
her moan as she tried to move
while her stomach wound oozed and bled.

I tried to convince myself the virtue
of torture for a natural remedy revered,
but I didn’t get far trapped in her stillness,
her isolation, her stench—the hollow gaze
of her eyes, the dull pulse of her heartbeat—
with florescent lights buzzing—removing
night from day—the never ending day—
her past, her present, her future.

I watched her life drain slowly away—
my breathing became shallow with hers.
Helpless to help, I gently embraced her
and whispered in her ear, “I am sorry.”

And with that—I woke.

Photo by Blake Guidry on Unsplash

Philip Brautigam
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