Landscape with Vulture
So this is how the ear first twitches towards war: the vulture, pulling apart the indiscernible animal on the neighbor’s lawn. The crowd that stills to watch its crime, the victim unraveled into gizzard rope. I have seen a lot of death lately. First the bumblebee, decapitated in the garden, the work of some angel, a hornet, then the squirrel with its toothpick ribs, its chest torn open to the sky. My mother swerved to avoid the offal stench following my sound; I couldn’t help it. I lowed the first note, the cue to mourn obvious and red. And how to say I saw the bird descending, oblivious to all but its appetite? How to say I understood its hunger the way all birds do: talons out, hooked in the light.