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Sermon of the Cranes

by Jesse Breite

Driving away
from the Delta, a white crane
clips a mouse
off the road, raises it
triumphant, extending wings
over the marsh.
The unfeeling eyes wince not
at the field’s little fury.
The beak’s precision
is cruel, surgical.

The electric towers look like
foxes and wolves
repeating. Birds chatter
on the long, slick wires,
thick as snake bellies.

Over the St. Francis River,
men in hard hats
break into the earth’s chest
with jackhammers.
A yellow crane tanks over dirt.

I can hear its gears
plucking out
something we don’t yet
consider riches,
and they’ll replace it
with artificial impulses,
electric veins.

What dream is lightning?
Why must we wield
its furious blinking
while the cranes sing
long duets
and reap the universe
of every furtive,
microcosmic kernel?

Jesse Breite’s recent poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Spillway, Crab Orchard Review, The Briar Cliff Review and Prairie Schooner. He has been featured in Town Creek Poetry and The Southern Poetry Anthology, Volume V: Georgia. FutureCycle Press published his first chapbook, The Knife Collector, in 2013.  

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