Natural Selection

It’s one law for the magpie, another for the crow, and another to be noosed around the necks of singing children who don’t know a schoolroom from a slaughterhouse. Beneath the ground, we’re all worms, listening for rain and trembling on the peck and pull that will tear us into light, where flames grow like tulips or tumours, and all is ripe for the reaping. It’s one truth for the cuckoo, another for the cock, and another to be twisted into traps in a bloodstained fist. In merciless light, we’re either carrion or prey, lining the edges of contested nests, distinguishable only by temperature and whether or not we blink. We teach our children songs of eggs and feathers, and we tell ourselves that one day we’ll grow wings, but it’s one story for the airborne clamour and another for those of us below




Oz Hardwick
Picture Nick Victor

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