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143| Euphemism and Taxonomy: Wild Domestic Birds

Alexandra Edelblute

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Each of your distractions is a gallus gallus domesticus.
Pastimes, quandaries, dalliances might as well
be Lakenvelders, Araucanas, Speckled Sussex: different

breeds of the same species. You and they
are entangled, are a tumble of
parts — hock, fluff, hackle — the wattle

and daub in a crude
wall I can’t climb. You pass your time
with varicolored avian, the ornamental raised for show. Troubles

have tufty peduncle and missing backbone with prick-
sharp beaks to pinion you. Nighttime cockerels are willing
table-poultry, common and misled. People may say

you're callous, callous, frivolous, may read
thoughtless and naive, but I'm charmed as you chase your
untamed birds. I know how you are drawn

to their euphony, a carnival of wings quivering vibrato
like the chime of stirred pebbles in creek, the hypnosis
of their red-eyed interruptions. When you're

ready, when you're ready, when
the feathers have cleared the air and covered
the floor, and the talons rest in dirt, know

I've been behind you on the ground, now under
the down, not gallus gallus domesticus but nevertheless
a fowl, unhatched, waiting for your warmth.

Alexandra Edelblute earned her master's degree in English at the University at Buffalo, where — as a student of the poetics program — she focused on the theory, practice, and textual study of poetry. She writes creative nonfiction and poetry; her work has appeared in Smartish Pace.

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