A Brown Pelican
I happened to observe a pelican
on a pylon consume another bird.
It was just a small thing. From my window
I witnessed all the horrors of nature.
‘How often am I the tiny bird trapped
in the gullet of a much larger beast?’
I pondered this thought, but it was hollow,
as the question, itself, seems incorrect.
The pelican and I acknowledge this,
holding eye contact, I sip my coffee.
His wings flap, he does not leave the pylon,
he stares at my window. ‘He sees my soul.’
I assume it’s a he, I could be wrong,
but now I am late for work, so I leave
the beast alone to finish up his meal.
I forget about him not long after.
When I return home that evening he’s gone.
I hardly notice the empty pylon.
I drink my final coffee, I watch the
evening news that isn’t quite news at all.
It isn’t until I’m in bed that night
that I ponder the large brown pelican,
resting on a beam, eating it’s brother.
And I have nightmares. Such tragic nightmares.
I am soaring above cloud and city,
far below me are crystal blue waters
out of which jump endless arrays of fish.
A bestial hunger growls from my gizzard.
I lower myself and I spot my prey.
My beak clamps down upon my own brother.
I swallow and feel him thrash in my throat.
I ask: Am I often the pelican?