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A Catechism
James Crizer


The thought of ostrich heads gone subterranean
seems out of place as the robins splash

the depression near an old maple.
They are more rhetorical, less reptilian.

The dip and rise between nature’s octaves is enviable
despite the large nut, small brain

truth of things.
Yellow leaves twirl down in light clusters.

A manna of Asian ladybugs rides the falling
and feeds the birds, orange dots eaten,

yet never seeming to decrease.
Bugs often misconstrue their own plagues.

This might be holy, might be bounty in the face
of peripheral witness,

a minor plague.
People hum for the worst reasons.

Man can fancy himself the ultimate virgin, ridiculous
in a cool autumn wind, male breasts

swelling comically.
Bird watchers pray for a species off its course.

The robins actually do something, function
for the sake of moment or cycle,

secular thoughts and twisting necks.
Naturalism is a difficult school.

Nipples are decorative breaks, arching
from the ribs’ proscenium,

feathering lost props.
Many birds inhabit all three planes.

People dig, plant, voyeur clouds and movement,
poke fun at folk singers, say nothing

for large parts of the day.
Ostriches don’t sing. They fear a misunderstanding.


Cimarron Review
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