By Andrew Carpino

i. Grackle

They don’t take off, they fall.
Turn to shiny stones
then birds again with only a flit.

Branches continue to twang
perpetual potential
where the grackle come and go.

Sharp black missiles
swooping each other,
bombing the river’s edge.

Garland in oil slick green,
they hold court on the shale wall
dividing the high ground from the low.

Even in the rain they won’t roost.

The yard thaws and releases the past
as meal worm and softened wood.

They puff open their chests
proud, warm and full,
then whistle their single quick breath

and kick the shit where they stand.

It is mating season, they know,
not too deeply in their hollow frames.

ii. Pigeon

Two pigeon comment to themselves
on the sign mariqueed in orange bulbs.

They twitch and blink in blank curiosity
at the wingless coats fluttering
in their worry, pecking at scraps
of phone and bus connections.

Their feet tuck up into their oily
green and brown down bellies
when the automatic doors shiff open
and let caged air out and in
through the small sweeps of northeastern gales
that slide bits of trash inches before shutting.

Journeys of narrow-mono vision left them
bobbing four feet above our heads,
avoiding the tangle shuffle of masses
and their scraps of freedom.

Andrew Carpino says that “Bipartisanship is the product of two separate poems, each written while I was bird watching, and combined in the idea that wild animal behaviors are closely linked with our own, as much as we and our egos try and separate ourselves from that world. No where is this more evident than in our political system. I did not dedicate left or right, Republican or Democrat, to either Grackle or Pigeon, because I believe that there are parallels between our arbitrary distinctions that tell us much more than predefinitions. Grackle was written from my home in the Adirondacks; Pigeon waiting for the T in Cambridge, MA.”