painting of birds flying low across a lake

the Whole Flamboyance

Webbed feet of cracked cadmium red drag up algae
out of salt heavy silt. Subgroups’ ingress reshapes
the whole flamboyance and rifles water
glazed with pink. Others

stand in freshets, plashing to bathe narrow wings,
ruffling florid coverts and primaries dampened
black. Bills cant as close-feathered necks curve down to
reach. Active geysers

seethe beneath the shore. Mud and broken ground are sunbaked
to faded madder; and preening birds are
pale by green escarpments, in waves doubly light,
layered and stable.

Running starts—from low murmurs, from showy turns
wending up the length of the lake—achieve lift,
flight above glossy verdigris that builds and
blooms in sulfates and

brine. Their gliding formation pitches up and
banks. Updrafts allow for economy. Their
honking carries, heard on the lake’s boundaries, in
cool sycamore fig camps, newly fruitful.