Poetry

Birding

Vijay Seshadri

A gray bird with a crest and a black mask.
Gilt edges the slim
tail feathers.
An eye drop of arterial blood in a flask

of gray water is the flashing red
under the wing.
A large wader, gimlet-eyed, under
the sun’s gimlet eye,

spearing frogs in the cattail
marsh. The sun itself a larger bird,
its wings manufacturing
the solar wind

that devours, that is what can devour a person—
floating in the vacuum
of perpetual space,
which is what there is and also is

itself a bird, a blackbird,
its black eye, black in black,
its sidewise look that makes you
look back.

Vijay Seshadri is the recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Guggenheim Foundation, and more. He is the author of a number of poetry collections, including That Was Now, This Is Then.
Originally published:
April 1, 2020

Featured

Essays

Race Off

The fantasy of race transformation
Namwali Serpell

Essays

Suicide in Fiction, Reconsidered

Why we need stories about living after a suicide attempt
Morgan Thomas

Conversations

Discipline and Abolish

Writing, power, and mass incarceration
Rachel Kushner,
Caleb Smith

You Might Also Like

Poetry

Meeting

Vijay Seshadri


Poetry

The Bees

Victoria Chang

Newsletter

Sign up for The Yale Review newsletter and keep up with news, events, and more.