Sunday, June 22, 2014

Audubon Pilot


There is a string of finches around your neck,
their yellow feathers soft against your throat
as you arrive to see your love off at the terminal.
He sets his case full of eggs down
and embraces you before he waddles through the gate.
In one corner of the waiting area, a force fed swan
vomits rancid mash; in another stands a crow
with a candle in its beak, throat clogged with on wax.
Through your binoculars, you watch as
I spread my webbed fingers, paddle through the muck
to reach the runway at the edge of the swamp.
You take notes: subject’s cloaca splattered
and clogged and spitting wet crumbs,
dripping slop. Your eyelids beat
like wings, trying to capture
the movement of every crystal bead
that sprays out behind the grebe
as it hits the drink.
All around, plump feathered bodies soar
like leafy cannonballs, like rolled up lizards
hurled by catapult across the marshlands of the Mesozoic.
The sun goes black, blotted by a descending raptor.
I try to take off but my unwieldy claws are too heavy
to lift, encased in boots of plaster and gravel.
I am frozen in place by that yellow knife eye
That accepts no excuse, a single slit
too narrow to escape from. You wet your brush
between your lips, prepare to paint
a muddy watercolor of the carnage.

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