petting zoo ducks

the petting zoo ducks are 
tearing pieces off the sun as if it were
another potato roll or window of white bread.
wearing their iridescent masks
they plunder the graveyard of flowers
& return to the pen before
any human can notice. they are nothing
like the goats or even the horse
all of which can convince themselves
of a two-finger touch. the ducks
refuse caress & in return demand
handful & worship. the ducks take turn
guessing what it once meant 
to be "wild." one duck thinks 
only falcons & eagles are truely 
unbound like that. another duck thinks
it's as simple as a barrier. 
anyone without a fence is wild
& those with one are contained.
the ducks recall being carried like 
loaves of bread. the ducks often
try to eat more than they know they should.
the ducks drink water in morsels
& ask summer to at least bring
cool dark nights. one duck tells
the same story every dusk. he says that once
there was a great pond thick with algae 
& brimming with everything delectable.
there were no other two-footed species
only ducks & there ducks flourished.
he is trying to get back to that pond
& on his worst days he tries to dig it himself
in the mud of the pen. the truth though is
he could fly out. he could escape.
play in the church cementery or
make a shadow on the sidewalk. 
the pen just feels a brutal necessity.
what if he were to walk too far
& lose all possible rein. no he would stay
& the other too. pluck feathers & stick them
in the mud. call it a forest. 
then, balancing the sun-taste
with a nibble of moon. just a taste.
smooth & cool. quenching. bringing sleep.
the ducks sleep with their eyes open 
as stars. dream of un-dangerous touch.
a reach. a grasp. the pond closing 
like a blinked eye. 

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