Flightless Rail
The shearwater’s moan doesn’t break
against burrows  
now, but reaches the quick
blood of a wingless rail.
To walk as if sewn to yourself.
Brought home, six rails lifted  
through the rough angled
lid of their crate.
To duck under green  
against what might cast
darkness over its own.
All shelter eaten, they skulk
in their furious smoke.
Frigatebirds, forked shadows, flank
seven blots on a brown
horizon: six scattered shapes and a crate.
A moment’s contentment,  
a swallow, a sigh:
The frigatebird draws its span  
to its eyes,
eating an island down.
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