poetry 0
William Wenthe


Shooting was needed to bring the bird close
to hand, but the first things

to alter after death and before
the specimen’s arranged, paints prepared,

are the eyes that shut, feet that clench
–natural enough, in death; but not

in life, which is what he sought
as he impaled the bird on sharpened wires

to bring it back to passing semblance
of a tableau vivant – so, for the fullness

of the scientific record, he must
uncurl the scaled feet, as if to grasp;

and with utmost gentleness of fingertip,
lift the lid of the eye, as if so see.

William Wenthe’s fourth book of poems, God’s Foolishness, will be published by LSU Press in 2016; his most recent book is Words Before Dawn (LSU Press, 2012). His poems have appeared recently in The Georgia Review, The Hudson Review, The Southern Review, Upstreet, and others. He teaches at Texas Tech University