Cotton Xenomorph is a new literary journal produced with the mission to showcase new, and ecstatic art while reducing language of oppression in our community. We are dedicated to uplifting new and established voices while engaging in thoughtful conversation around social justice.

Wild Ducks

by Tim Duffy

I think of bodies shot through
the immediate flurry of feathers

perhaps a barking dog
that finds desire

buried in bloodied grass
struggle is the great sauce

of their process. They have faced
a trauma we keep at poem’s length

or the dirge of some of long-forgotten
song that tells us loss is rare.

Beyond the hills, the sun is starting to rise
and so the hunt is over

but the bleeding remnants of duck
will not scare, though the life is out of them

one will start back to life
in the doorway of his kitchen

and fly on broken wings from wall to wall
until the heart gives out

or his wife smashes it with a broom.
This is what we call cruelty

though I remember how freely our prayers flew over
that body and I saw it in heaven

crowned in feathers,
born again in glory, like a memory

of Paradise or something
just like that.


Tim Duffy is a poet, writer, and scholar with work in or forthcoming in Entropy, Longleaf Review, Open Letters Monthly, The Cortland Review, Rain Taxi, Empty Mirror, and elsewhere. 

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