Robert S. Pesich



bind the night, my voice
emptiness to emptiness
our burned redwood
hollowed into a new home
teaching me how to behave


The Stomach

what we call our trawler does not stop at night. It continues
to growl, hiss, and pitch for the next catch, our search for
something to love, good enough to eat. Everything processed
below deck in half-light. The low-value ground and reformed
into nostalgias named Medley, Chorus, Family-Pak. Word
now often comes from corporate, software manufacturing


Arriving at the Department of
Systems & Chemical Biology

A hummingbird flies past our face just as we exit
the elevator to the Department of Systems and Chemical Biology.
He collides into the East window, turns, then flies back
down the hallway. Every door, closed. Flying back and forth
who knows how long. He collides into the West window
and drops to the floor. A wing continues to unfold,
fold. Doors open next to him. A young woman exits
wearing a white lab coat and carrying a small black
computer. She stops, glances at the body then retreats. We
are still lost. Here, the room numbers are all even.
We’re looking for 701. The same door opens. She reappears
wearing sky-blue nitrile gloves. She picks up the bird
for the tail, drops it in a red biohazard bag
that expands, contracts as she seals it for the incinerator.