Poems by Ed Taylor

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Still Life With Invasive Species

summer, Squaw Island, Niagara River

by Ed Taylor

From Canary Summer 2016

Ed lives in the Buffalo River Watershed, within the Niagara River Watershed.

          From a distance the fish littering the gray asphalt river walk look like Canada goose droppings, moist commas.
          Resting his belly on the rusted waterside railing a man reels in, sets down his bottle in a paper bag to unhook and flip one over a shoulder without looking. The sand-brown fish twists for a while, then darkens and stops.
          “They’re from Europe or somewhere, from ship ballast. Bad news.” He flicks his filtered butt into grass and spits, yawns at the orange of two jump-suited prisoners fifty yards downriver, beside the sewage treatment plant, scything milkweed and scattering the handful of monarchs. He spits again and kicks a faded red plastic cup until it’s through the rails and into the water: “Oops.” Then he jacks his radio because, with the boat wakes slapping and gulls scrapping over fries and someone gunning a Harley in the parking lot behind him, he can’t fucking hear.

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