Bird Dead on the Mississippi Shore in St. Louis
I set out for the meeting with champagne
meant to celebrate something that happened
when I hadn’t been looking. Celebrate not sinking.
Dust off the bottle. These things I say aloud.
Meeting friends, I pass the bottle to the girl
with ice, salad, and a bag to put all this.
People living and working in tugboats
pass, still living like Huck Finn except
for their very fancy phones. We gather
at rivers edge to sit on stones and drifted
tree trunks. We pretend to fish and the fish
don’t notice. A log shifts under the girl’s foot,
revealing a dead bird. The flies scatter and we
scram into the house on the hill.
We feed the mosquitos without noticing,
we’ve been uncorked.