Poem by Laura Rockhold

December 15, 2023

Turkey Vulture (Hidden Light)

This morning wandering the corporate waste-
land, turkey vultures circle in smog, drift lazy
eights around the top of the two towers erected
like two tits with bladed nipples, nesting—not
in a dead tree or thicket or cave where one might
expect to see them, but on this metal mountain,
a perfect perch to scavenge roadside carnage.
More than once I think I feel them orbiting the
building full of juicy humans like an ominous sign
of a world gone rotten—nature left to survive off
the remains of imprudent doings. Like a robot, I
sit in a trance in my windowed office, watching
the blood-red heads hang-glide, hiss past. I am
living in the habit of not really living, comfort-
lulled into a dangerous tranquility. Tonight I will
bike in the dirty air around the lake divided by
interstate, water smelling of sewage runoff
and dead fish. Spend the evening with
cheap Pinot Noir, prepackaged pizza and reality
TV, pop ibuprofen for the inevitable high-
fructose sulfite headache and never even wonder
what is in the water as I shower to wash off the day.

About Laura Rockhold

Laura Rockhold is a Minnesota poet, visual artist, inventor of the golden root poetic form and recipient of the Bring Back The Prairies Award and Southern MN Poets Society Award. Her work is featured or forthcoming in Birdcoat Quarterly, Cider Press Review, The Ekphrastic Review, The Fourth River, The Hopper, Waxwing, and elsewhere.

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