what we call our trawler does not stop at night. It continues
to growl, hiss, and pitch for the next catch, our search for
something to love, good enough to eat. Everything processed
below deck in half-light. The low-value ground and reformed
into nostalgias named Medley, Chorus, Family-Pak. Word
now often comes from corporate, software manufacturing
Arriving at the Department of
Systems & Chemical Biology
A hummingbird flies past our face just as we exit
the elevator to the Department of Systems and Chemical Biology.
He collides into the East window, turns, then flies back
down the hallway. Every door, closed. Flying back and forth
who knows how long. He collides into the West window
and drops to the floor. A wing continues to unfold,
fold. Doors open next to him. A young woman exits
wearing a white lab coat and carrying a small black
computer. She stops, glances at the body then retreats. We
are still lost. Here, the room numbers are all even.
We’re looking for 701. The same door opens. She reappears
wearing sky-blue nitrile gloves. She picks up the bird
for the tail, drops it in a red biohazard bag
that expands, contracts as she seals it for the incinerator.
Robert S. Pesich is the editor and publisher of Swan Scythe Press, President of Poetry Center San José and coordinator for The Well-RED Reading Series, also in San José. He has received poetry fellowships from Arts Council Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley Community Foundation and was thrice a Djerassi Resident Artist Fellow. Winner of the Littoral Press Poetry Prize and nominated three times for a Pushcart Prize, his recent work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Bitter Oleander, Right Hand Pointing, Porter Gulch Review, The Redwood Coast Review, and Arsenic Lobster. Author of Burned Kilim (Dragonfly Press) his collection of poetry Night Sutures is in submission. He works as a research associate for Palo Alto Institute for Research and Education and for Stanford University, Department of Infectious Diseases. For more about him, visit http://www.robertpesich.com.