1. Hook-Billed Albatross

    She stakes her dreams to the field’s love-shielding
    grass at the end of her perforated rainbow. He takes his
    turn ensured that she loves him by her food shopping,
    house cleaning, love making. The hawk’s nest resists
    the wind, remains aloft, agape for eggs and hatchlings,
    fertile reminders that measuring time, even if only once per
    season, does not slow it down; that migrating King Mackerel
    offer themselves in massive schools to even amateur anglers,
    as buffaloes had before sported to death. Six-toed cats and trans-
    continental reunions emit their cosmic hum. Games and big news
    keep connections alive. New friends meet old in a town you
    haven’t lived in for twenty-eight years. Opposite colors, orange
    blue collide, retract, expand over oysters, not slimy to hide pearls,
    but slippery to replicate the activities they supposedly support.
    Then a bull gator walks out of Lake Alice, scares drunk frat boys
    and walks back in without incident. Our corresponding spouses
    see the joy, join in the stories, though they are older. Beer
    loosens the social bra straps, allowing a free flow of ideas to
    sprout forth. Ibis flock issues screams from Payne’s Prairie, let’s
    face it, this prairie is a swamp, Audubon’s swamp, thus stinky.

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