blackbirdonline journalSpring 2010  Vol. 9  No. 1
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Freaked, squawking, startled anew,
wings stretched inarticulate, a still
fuzzy-headed gosling launched itself
across the road, and before we knew
or could do anything about it, the bird,
its colors not yet, flailed toward us
who were anniversary-drunk, wobbling
a rented bicycle upriver, wondering
how we became what we are, how the first
fish-thing flopped ashore, gills sludge-shut,
how another and another, then a few
ushering forth, some ungainly allowance.
Busy talking, we didn’t see the gosling
until, somehow under us, it found a way
through the space between road and crank,
pedal and wheel. It was what we said
later lying in bed, the day dying long
in a valley of columbine and paintbrush,
grace, luck—our young marriage, the child
we were saying we may or may not have,
our future selves already made in what
we’ve done, teetering where the day lives.
Whatever corresponded, whatever came
to mind, it all seemed analogous
and, going on like that, suddenly became
nothing but the shutter: the look on your face,
the look on mine, oned but not one,
dissolving back into the ditch of its birth.  end

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