Greenwood Encyclopedia of African American Literature

Thursday, January 15, 2015

"Recent Storms"

The man in Maui said the recent storms
had ripped away sand and shortened beaches.
We were looking at one of the beaches.
It was narrow all right.

In what's called the distance, a humpback
whale lifted itself up, curved, went
back under, flipping its tail
in so doing: a thick, black Y.

Not incidentally at all,
a minah bird hopped onto grass
carrying a dead dragon fly.
The bird swallowed it,

taking the bulbous head first.
It stretched tall to get it all
down the pipe and expressed
liquid defecation in a quick

Latinate stream onto green.
We live inside a multitude
of dynamic systems, the man
said. He was homeless, and two

security-guards eyed him, us. That
we do, sir, I said. And
I gave him a fiver for his
journey, and everything changes form.


Hans Ostrom 2015




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