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(Finding a gannet washed up by Eel Pond)


From swirling fog

a sudden swan-size lump --


bright white and yellow

streaked by sand, wings snarled,

their sodden coal-black tips

crusted with silt.  Gray eye

that scanned pelagic waves,

eaten by ants.


The voyager

who skimmed ice cliffs

and mangrove swamps

sprawls awkwardly;

as awkwardly as I extend --

retract -- a booted toe: 

restrained by vague

primordial respect


or other visions

fallen from the skies

or knowledge

living beauty’s always


I circle, formal

as Victorian mourners

in front-parlor guise


then take my leave


while gorgeous ruined plumage

on a dimming beach

begins to ruffle gently

as the tide comes in

Version first published in Rat's Ass Review (Fall 2023)

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