SEAGULLS, SO FAR FROM THE OCEAN
They circle the parking lot in front of Best Buy,
hovering over hot asphalt. I imagine they’ve descended
from an avian version of Columbus, a distant
ancestor who bore too far northwest, landing on a lake
in central Minnesota and calling it Rehoboth Beach.
Too late, he would have realized his mistake:
the absence of bright towels spread out over sand,
of children scampering along the shore. No fathers
in swim trunks paying for hotdogs and funnel cakes
sprinkled lavishly with powdered sugar.
The other birds were indifferent, already calling every bridge
“the boardwalk.” And now, all summer, all over the city,
I find them, crying out in voices meant to carry over water.
They peck sullenly at trash and watch cars drive by.