Harm, with Figurative Language
The vampire finch pecks a bloody hole in the blue-footed boobie, not out of the want
to consume, but out of the need to clean, you told me, quoting from a book
on Darwin, not in the effort to educate, but in the effort to excuse
why one chooses violence—never selfishly, but for the good of the species, to explain
how in order to save us both, you had to hold me down, & preen until I was maggot-free.


Darwin, observing that the thickset beak of the large-ground finch was designed,
out of necessity, to effectively puncture the dense seeds of the feverplant,
gathered that an environment will rob a creature of its entire form simply to refine it,
sculpting lungs from gas bladders, stapling dorsal fins into arms, stuffing the animals
with better bones that break only to fuse back together in stranger, sturdier shapes.
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