Magellan at rest

In the smoke of my bath, half-sleeping
there seem to be waters full of timber
and fish without eyes.

These waters run fastest in mid-stream
where the swirl almost turns on itself
pulling in all directions
while still moving strongly towards the sea.
The boats around me are broken
there are no boats steaming or sailing today.

On the banks scavengers wait.
From the corner of my eye I see a movement
but by the time I turn the flash of speed and color has gone.

It’s hot here, the sort of heat that makes evaporation
form clouds a few feet from the ground.
Everything’s damp to the touch
growing, shrinking or living precariously between those two states.

Somewhere above the tree-line birds circle
huge and grotesque.
Like badly-formed animals with the benefit of flight
they stumble through the air on short muscled wings.
Few have feathers, most look plucked for the pot;
where are the men with stomachs
grown strong enough to eat these dishes?

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