|On Island Grissom in San Pedro Bay|
Below my feet oil is coursing
through pipelines and out to the bean pump
the serious workers are capturing crude,
their hands and faces blackened and slick.
The windswept falcon dives down the rig
from an eyrie atop the derrick, a
streamlined stoop through currents of air
eyes razor-sharp and accurate,
blue beak and bright yellow talons.
The widening sunlight shatters itself
dazzling the face of the sea,
blinding the surprised and floating dove
who suddenly goes still, mid-coo.
That’s when the falcon rips out her breast,
leaving her warm heart falling.
I believe this is amusement, sport for the falcon
who swoops low a beat later, clasps the heart in a claw,
screams out victorious and abruptly soars away.
I know this is how life is supposed to go,
that my breaths, like the dove’s, are numbered
that my daydreams are flowers, bruising my body.
I hold her white tail plume in one hand
and a tuft of her down in the other and
I lay her feathers in the falcon’s nest—
a tangled womb of rubbish stirring in the breeze
and the two speckled eggs inside shift slightly,
anxious to become.