Phoenicopteridae Urbana, Jaxon Ke’anoi Bonsack
Surfers sprawled on their backs waiting
for the sun to dry them
peeling in long strips. Just like sun-dried
tomatoes. Stringy hair caught
in the drain of the outdoor shower.
Slinking into the pipes
below them. Seagulls picking
off their next victims in this
summer of sweat and scum.
And the swimmers hold their once sublime
image tightly against the slits
of their skin on bones.
Skinny enough for the seagulls
to disregard their size.
Filled with corpses and mechanic
ebbing. Steel blue crashes with the squawking
of pelicans. Each bright
white plucked feather clambers through
the crowd of cracked necks and
punctured coolers filled with scat.
Scattered throughout the coughs
itching, tickling, the back
of those throats. Scent can’t pick
out salt from copper here on this
vacation for cannibals.
And the katabothron holds floating knapsacks
with skin covered in the maggots
and crickets the pelicans
could not keep.
About the Author
Taylor Hammond · New Mexico State University
Taylor Hammond began writing as a kindergartener, and now studies Creative Writing at New Mexico State University. This piece first appeared in Crimson Thread.
About the Artist
Jaxon Ke’anoi Bonsack
Working across disciplines, Jaxon Ke’anoi Bonsack creates vibrant, engaging, and often visceral work. Trained as an architect and researcher, Jaxon has harmoniously blended his passions and talents into an artistic practice that spans mediums and genres. Whether through digital photography and collage, painting, sculpture, or writing, Jaxon explores what it means to be human and to find beauty in that shared experience, giving voice to the narratives that shape us. Based in Minneapolis, Jaxon works in public art, helping support the work of other artists, creating greater access and exposure. When he is not working on his writing or art, Jaxon is restoring and remodeling an 1886 Victorian home with his husband. This piece originally was featured in plain china in 2019.