by shaindel beers
The lone pelican in the reeds
of river’s edge seemed odd.
Later in the paper the story
of its broken wing,
by flying into a wire.
That it would probably be
euthanized. When you see
a pelican alone, it usually
means something is wrong,
said the wildlife expert.
My self-doubt that kept me
from calling. Did I cause that pelican
more hours of suffering
or gift it a few more hours
of floating in the reeds,
a little while longer to bob
in the gentle current,
the coolness of water over webbed feet?
Forgive me, pelican. I also, am always alone,
also fly too recklessly for my own good.
When I told you about the pelican—
that I thought I should have called someone.
You said, That’s your problem. You always
doubt your instincts.
As a woman, I’ve been taught to ignore
connections. The ones between myself
and the moon, the tides
internal and external.
The way the pelican and I
for an instant
The pelicans sit on the rocks preening,
a section of concert violinists bowing
apricot bills against snow velvet down
of breast. I wonder if they can hear
the friction of their surfaces one against
the other. If there is a making of music
out of their bodies. I remember them
later when the photographer says,
When you touch yourself,
when your fingers skim
the hollow between throat and clavicle
you are telling the viewer, Oh, my skin
is so soft, don’t you wish you could