Winner of the DISQUIET International Literature Award sponsored by Dzanc Books and Guernica
A cold wolf hangs from the teat of upper
atmosphere. It sweeps the crags of coastline,
the dull smear of beach, its breath cutting
through a cradle of rigging, the broad faces
of sails. The straw-boned seabirds are blown
from their trawlers, their religion of fish.
But the heavy pelicans remain, float
in the surprise of icewash, pick jewels
of freeze from wings, the feathery scissor
of their tails. As all warm animals do in Ukraine,
the pelicans try, but the long trowel of their beaks
cannot reach what is closest to them.
These great birds go last. Too heavy to fly,
they sink under swelling breast-plates of ice.
Jacob Shores-Argüello grew up in Costa Rica and the United States. He studied in the MFA program at the University of Arkansas where he was the Walton Fellow in poetry. He is the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship to the Ukraine and a Fine Arts Work Center Fellowship in Provincetown. His manuscript, In the Absence of Clocks, was awarded the 2011 Crab Orchard Series in Poetry Open Competition, judged by Yusef Komunyakaa. It will be released in 2012.
Homepage photograph by Douglas Yates