Looking for Migrants

by Andres Rojas


Him: a brackish lagoon,
the sun a wire hyssop
on my lips. He never walked

this salt-coarse sand
my blistered feet
trace their search on.


The only thirst here
is mine: sanderlings

drink the Atlantic, snort
its brine, will soon breed summer

again in Hudson Bay.
Unless I come too close

I am not
of their world.


Like the least terns,
he came north to Florida
bruised in the crossing:

everything that flies
takes off and lands
into the wind,

that spiritus mundi
aloft, who knows
what furies await.


A rare bird on this beach:
a rufous fowl, adrift

with the tide. He did not fly
nor try to fly. I gave him

one dry night
on a full stomach,

carried him
light as ashes in another box.

He had no name I knew.
He did not live

in any guidebook.
I’ve watched

for others since, intuiting
birds weren’t migrants once

but grew to it, that balance
of need: to settle in lack

or to go on looking
for what isn’t there.








Andres Rojas has an M.F.A. from the University of Florida and is the author of the audio chapbook The Season of the Dead (EAT Poems, 2016). His poetry has been featured in Best New Poets 2017, and has most recently appeared or is forthcoming in, among others, AGNI, Barrow Street, Colorado Review, Massachusetts Review, Mid-American Review, New American Writing, New England Review, Notre Dame Review, and Poetry Northwest.

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