From The Beginning

A jeweled pheasant,
pearlescent as oyster shells,
struts through our spring orchard
to claw from cheatgrass
kernels of cracked corn
and black-oil sunflower spread
beneath the cherry's umbrella boughs.
Three hens seduce him with
a more enticing feast
as he dallies in courtship
fanning wing and tail,
his head's red wattles erect.

We recognize such journeys
in the ascent upstream,
north and south migrations,
eggs warming under sand,
the fundamental urge for union
of feather, scale, abdomen
or with our own confrontations,
blood coursing to extremity
until love's shameless elements
rouse the silk animal
nesting in our bones.

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