Rebecca Foust


If the egret and heron are woodblock prints, 
these wildly outsized birds are whole canvases 
palette-knifed in titanium, a descended 
cumulus. They flock the sandbar and float, 
a yellow bill folded along each curving neck. 

A beak tips to swallow, and a star un-pleats 
cinnabar against azure sky. I walk close, but 
the birds take no notice. We come, 
we shrink the marshland, we save the marshland, 
we continue to poison the marshland. 

Have you seen the columns at Sagrada Família? 
Porphyry, granite, basalt. Our redwoods were cut 
a century ago. But so long as what’s overlooked 
can breed life in a puddle, it seems, the birds will come, 
and I am for the moment deaf bliss to the voice inside, 

novice in a convent of silence belled by the calls 
of many birds. Consecrated, seeing such a fortune 
of great white pelican as I did not imagine existed;
here, along a frontage road wedged between 
the Royal Coach Car Wash and the Town Center Mall.