Jesse Graves
Flickering around the compost heap,
swirled dust bunny, swept up & pitched out
clanging a song I could forget in 10 seconds.
You land in anything and somehow find
a morsel, undigested seed in a jay’s droppings,
blind pink face of an earthworm underneath.
Hardly worth an ode, hardly
demanding a full line of thought.
Persistent, though, not quiet in the cage
evolution built for you—
your blip-blip-buzzzz a steady comment.
What about? Well, nothing really, 
announcing sex, food, some early warning,
nothing in it said for me.
Except I’m listening anyway, & making
meaning where I want to find it.
Probably your message is hardscrabble
libertarian individualism: Make do now.
Make do now. Those not born to a fine nest 
can live under a rock, there’s always something.
Well, to hell with you, bird. 
Here’s what I’m hearing:
Keep pecking, keep turning shit over.
Don’t stop singing because the vultures
circle overhead—they love blood too much,
they will eat their own before its over. 
Be ready. Be ready. Be ready.

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