A faded copy of Wallace Stevens’
Collected works sits on a windowsill
Looking west across a churning ocean.
A murky, gray horizontal smudge meets
Beyond vision and fades both north and south:
The archaic world of the Pelican.
This ancient bird dives along the shoreline
Blending sky and sea till it’s nearly
Indiscernible through the mottled glass.
Searching the braking waves the Pelican
Plunges its great wings into the salt spray
And rushes over the cutting water’s edge.
Numerous other shore birds have washed up
And been buried by rolling winter sands,
Selected by fate to soar no longer,
Yet the lice infested feathers of this
Primordial bird keep it aloft to
Behold an ever-changing empire.
Beyond the shoreline’s crashing saltwater,
Beyond the horizontal dreary smudge,
The eternal world of the Pelican
Will welcome this antiquated bird home
Tonight, and the Titans will hear its
Wondrous tales of imaginary lands.