Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2012 v11n1
an online journal of literature and the arts
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There were uncounted millions of the beasts—hundreds of millions, we forced ourselves to believe.
—by Frank H. Mayer, “The Buffalo Harvest”

I can’t force myself to believe in any old
almanac, that the best days for fishing
will come mid-March, that fog in January
brings a wet spring.

Most of my knowledge gets turned, or upset. Even chickens
aren’t completely flightless—they can make it
over a fence, into the low branches
of trees. In China, a man built his own dialysis machine, kept
himself alive for thirteen years.

Wolverines will rescue people from snow banks, dragging them
by their shirtsleeves to safety.

At the Maeklong Railway Market in Thailand, tourists marvel
eight times a day
at produce stalls set right on the tracks,
whole shops removed as a train barges through.

Like clockwork, the market reassembles. I always question
the most rigid convictions. I can’t trust a person
who plays the lottery, believes in planning

for luck. I think someone evil once said, a single death
is a tragedy, a million a statistic. I don’t buy into
the claptrap of despots. I want to say the word miracle somehow
without cringing, believe
types of goodness exist. Oh. It’s too easy
to trust—
the future arrives; the honeymoon happens.
The baby is born with ten fingers, ten toes.  end  

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