all of us lose the gene could, trading it off
for can’t and sleep alone like
the pelican in the vast reserve lost his long-term mate
to bored ducks in a bad mood
marauding in Pond Four. Their revenge for
something, just to wear her out. Or it was time.
Called Mildred, and too old. She got tired.
A detail about him though: one wing gone,
after and also.
So he’s stuck there in paradise, minus flight.
Given a human name too – George –
in dubious compensation. A king reigning over
What I could not see – but did –
was another pelican, one on Dairy Road
dipping down to
swallow a whole fish whole.
Noon glare, long pinkish throat lit up –
to X-ray! Live shadow-shape
ricocheted in there, down.
Bestiary of mind, unnerve, unnerve …