Peregrine Falcon in Disintegration Loop
by Stephen Scott Whitaker
Perry grinned. Grinning, Perry went to work and watched
A man get crushed by a fist as big as a state. A fist
As big as a statement to fact: a blue ocean event
Will happen in my lifetime. In my lifetime a fist
Big as the sun will smash through ice and make
The earth over in its fiery image. Perry put on sunscreen
And grinned and worked and sanitized his workstation
And took his mood enhancers and sat down when Perry
Felt tired. Perry felt tired because his work was punching
Numbers for the state, filing all of its crimes and rhymes
And rhymes and crimes. Perry grinned and went home
On the train where someone sowed their hate and took
Everyone hostage with her speech which was free
And without consent. Perry grinned and took a hit
Of the newest vape and cruised the socials, a kind
Of devotion. Perry likes and tweets and upvotes with hollow
Gut that nothing matters and matters matter little,
And Perry goes home, slack-jawed and eye walled
And drinks and drinks and talks up his face
In the bathroom mirror. When he looks into his reflection
He can see, in his pupil, a great pine spear
Rising above a body of water. A body of water
Reflected in the eye. In his eye a body of water.
And his body a body of wings and great flapping,
High above the bay he feels drawn, he feels high
As a falcon in the trees, watching for prey, watching
Its whole life for something to snatch from the sky.
Stellar's Jay in Teller's Bay1
by Stephen Scott Whitaker
Each year Teller’s Bay swallows up the coastal forest and fields.
Teller’s Bay, full of wind broken pines grey up to the crown because Teller’s Bay does not play inside the lines and steps up the beach and into the woods to listen to Steller’s Jay, a riot of them, squawking and investigating grey trunks for beetles, for ants, for caterpillar feasts among the breeze down pine shatters and shrub leaves that are soaked with Teller Bay’s tidal foam from where Teller’s Bay rolled in and reached and reached and reached into the wood, dark and brambled, to see the brassy blue birds yelling at each other, Look! Look at this! And This! And This! The squawking and screaming Steller’s Jay nesting in the pines along Teller Bay. The ocean, the ocean wants to play, wants to see the bright blue birds with salt eyes, and hear with thousands of bubbling ears on seafoam, on the crest of a wave, Look! Look at this! And This! And This!
1A small bay on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. Each year Teller’s Bay swallows up the coastal forest and fields. Pine trees and soybeans are the usual victims of the salt wash.
Stephen Scott Whitaker (@SScottWhitaker) is a member of the National Book Critics Circle and the managing editor for The Broadkill Review. Whitaker is a teaching artist with the Virginia Commission for the Arts, an educator, and a grant writer. His poems have appeared in Fourteen Hills, The Shore, Wraparound South, Oxford Poetry, Crab Creek Review, & The Citron Review, among other journals. He is the author of four chapbooks of poetry and a broadside from Broadsided Press. Mulch, his novel of weird fiction is forthcoming from Montag Press in 2021.