Mario Milosevic

When I Was

When I was a bear
I filled the world.
My paws were wide,
and I walked large.
I ate all summer
and slept all winter,
dreaming of the time

when I was a dragonfly
and I wove the world.
Darting through air,
skimming over grass,
hovering on water,
my compound eyes
embroidering my dreams of the time

when I was a turtle
and I carried the world.
Walking slowly with the weight,
squat body on four thick legs,
hard shell holding me in,
keeping my dreams of the time

when I was a salmon
and I fed the world.
Sleek skin sliding down river throats,
pink flesh nourishing my cousins.
I swam upstream,
where death took me
and I swallowed my dreams of the time

when I was a tree
and I held the world.
Roots gripping soil,
branches embracing sky,
my vision
encompassing dreams of the time

when I was a raven
and I sang the world.
Single note struck from my throat,
pushed into air,
the sound a call to listen
to the unseen
and honor my dreams of the time

when I was a bear;
when I was a dragonfly;
when I was a turtle, a salmon, a tree;
when I was a raven.

 

“When I Was” is reprinted fromĀ The Journal of Mythic Arts and Animal Life (Green Snake Publishing).

 

Mario Milosevic’s poems and stories have appeared in Black Warrior Review, Rattle, Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, and many other magazines. His novels include Terrastina and Mazolli: A Novel in 99-Word Episodes, Claypot Dreamstance, and The Coma Monologues. He has published three volumes of poetry: Animal Life, Fantasy Life, and Love Life. All his books are published by Green Snake Publishing. He lives with his wife, writer Kim Antieau, in the Columbia River Gorge and works at the Stevenson Community Library in Stevenson, Washington.

 


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