Dancing in the Dark

for Nancy Goldberger

Tin cans rolling across the patio
wake me. Creeping downstairs I make a plan—
fling open the door to scare the racoons
when a piece of the darkness separates
itself into a blurry massive shape:
on my lawn there is a bear! a bear!
Saliva all over the patio
where he’s drooled and strewn four days of garbage.
Striped by moonlight, I watch his snout thrust deep
inside half-grapefruit rinds. He sneezes,