From the Wharf I Watch a Cormorant


Some call them snake birds
the way they swim with their heads up,
a long twisty neck just visible beneath.

But when they become birds again
drying outstretched wings
I call them something else—
dark angels maybe.

Yesterday when one stood like that
on a piling barely submerged
it seemed to stand on water,
like Jesus, and with those
angel wings fluttering like fingers.

I stand like that, I thought,
to dry my underarms,
flapping and cooling myself
as Jesus must have done, too,
in that hot middle-eastern land.

The Christ in me, the One
in a cormorant: we greet each other,
one tick, all of us, from a reptile

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