by Sarah Louise Green

A gang of seagulls throw beaks into bread.

He’s been coming here to feed them

since she left. Crackers also sail through the air,

announcing hope. The sun keeps on

evenly over the marina. He sees no swirl of cloud

approaching. Some birds nip at neck feathers,

but everyone knows they don’t really mean it.

They’ve got a reason. They’re small, or mottled,

or mean-spirited, or have weak legs. She left

her inconsiderate scent all over the house.

He couldn’t bring himself to burn a new candle.

All fires grew pointless. The birds shit on his hands,

resting, folded among the frenzy. Before she left,

the therapist recommended baking. Freezer’s full

of loaves he gives away slowly. The gulls flutter

sunlight toward him, and sea smells.

They move and move, casting shadows

on his fingernails. One gets lost in all this light.

*Photo courtesy Brian Hathcock.