Co-Conspirators E-anthology

by Jeffrey Jullich

I Guess

They try their whole lives,
Rehearsing mechanical stiffnesses
In tendons. They always fail
To run, legs a numbed blur
Across other flat places.

Webbed toes
Dream about a straightahead
Without the compulsory upwards:
Without flight, they might escape.

They sit on branches, because the trunk
Mocks a thick leg. The air has streamlined
Them into a singleminded tedium
Free of fantasies, futures stylized
Into reflex throb
Near the throat. They want to know
If tomorrow is the pier's edge,
A sliding pond of air.

Come in and keep coming in
To reach the marina
In a lasting sense,
Like a lawn of beaks.
The vanguard is last,
Followed by the countless.

first published in Operative, 1982

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