The Gulls on Alcatraz

They’ll eat anything,
the Western Gulls on Alcatraz,
so sometimes you can find
on the rocks at the base of the island
or on the cracked and splintered yard
where the cons worked out
tennis balls and bright yellow golf balls
the birds brought over and dropped,
thinking they were mussels or oysters,
some kind of unfamiliar shellfish
the fall would break
and not the crap we lose or toss out,
all things finding their way
to the sea as they do.

And I understand their confusion
when the balls hit the ground and bounce
high in the air, intact and inedible.

I also have made it this far,
tired from looking,
the junk of another world in my jaws

and I also recover,
beat away again across the flat bay,
sure that tomorrow,
on this same slipshod ground,
out of the deep cerulean blue
a bird will land,
the moon in his mouth
and his whole head
shot through with light.

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