Vulture’s six excuses for brutality



I thought it was a head of lettuce.



I took it for a nut I had to crack

To get at the kernel.



The carpet looked pleated and old.

My claws removed the skin on that back,

Exposed the smoother, brighter flesh.



There were two marbles on the mask

Two marbles floating in two baths

The marbles shone and tripled the sky and me.

I broke them with my beak to restore

The order of things:

One sky and one of me.



The road did it.

Broke the cord in the back.

It lay there quite frozen

Eyes on two still points

In the blue beyond.

My beak and feet put out

The speck in its eyes.



I clean. I takeaway. I vacuum smells

No one wants to drive through.

I act like whiteout on mistakes

No one wants to see.

I am a mini-landfill.

Give me time to evolve and you can feed me

Your plutonium, treat me like the storage depths

Of a gutted mountain.



Fred D’Aguiar




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