Where the yellow-crowned heron comes to the edge of the marsh
at night and feeds upon small senseless marshwater crabs—
that’s where sibling crabs come in and, because it’s too late,
can’t find the crabs they were looking for, have to declare them
dead, have to assume the herons ate them, have to assume
the marsh, where crabs do not make affordable, sensible homes,
is a place of mud and death and strange plants. Not a place
for brightness, not a place for shells, and not even a good place
for heron birds. Sibling crabs and child crabs and wisdom crabs
make but one great assumption: that no place is really suitable
for a bird. The axiom: once crabs can fly, they will have no grace
and no place left for them on the ground. Trees will not be good,
cliffs will not be much better. The waste of time would be spent
in stony, solid, lonely flight in an air grave.
THE RIVER WAS KILLED AND IT DISGORGED
We found smelly, mutilated water parts, river
shrimps, silt, fish suits, wet lands. Herons picked
up pieces of parted, unemployed water, and
brought it to the sky. The sky enrolled the herons.
Heronosphere was generated. A soaking, shudder-
ing, toothy, dark sky, stuffed with water looked down
on us, affectionately, from that kind of distance, as often
as possible, murdering clouds in between us, freeing up space.
DANIEL D’ANGELO’s poetry has appeared in or is forthcoming from The Collagist, NOÖ Journal, H_ngm_n, Jellyfish, Dark Sky Magazine, Phantom Limb, and Birdfeast. He is former Poetry Editor for Phoebe: A Journal of Literature and Art. He’s from Eastern Iowa and lives in Fairfax, Virginia.