You’ve got to hand it to them, the ravens.
They live just about anywhere—a garbage dump
in the Mojave Desert, base camp on Mount Everest,
or atop the water tower of the Chelsea Hotel.
One ate a king’s heart. Another poached condor eggs
from a nest on the cliff. They love to play
Three-card Monte, slick as any magician or thief,
deft with their haha sleight of hand before stashing
stolen goods in their secret caches. I wouldn’t
put it past them to have Swiss bank accounts
and shell companies in the Caymans. You can’t
go near a decent restaurant without hearing
their kraa, the blowhard knocking and rattling
con job as they flaunt their puffed-up ruffs.
Iridescent. How can they have any fans at all? Folks
who admire how they harness the updraft
just above the cliff face, how they amass
mounds of shiny objects and never tire
of playing catch-me-if-you-can. With each ill-gotten
gain, argument, law, their numbers increase—
obsidian arrowheads blackening the sky.