The failure of the seagulls and me


Zaira Dzhaubaeva

Black-headed Seagulls at Seven Seas Beach

At the seaside

I fly with the seagulls—

am one with them.


But it all comes with a price,

and I find myself living meal-by-meal



We dip as one

into the lapping waves parading over the ocean floor

like they have something to be proud of, anyway.

Their contempt and cockiness trample any chance of a catch,

and basic necessities are sent cascading into the abyss.

From their greed, an anger is born inside us,

and it doesn’t blossom like the buds of spring, no,

it is the start of the storm, the start of a hard winter.

A season so harsh, and a feeling so menacing, that it strips the beautiful colors

of fall and chills the thin-boned branches of the gracious orchard.


The piecemeal is ripped apart the monsters of the deep,

and the morsels that float upwards are poisoned by the grotesque saliva that drips from their bared teeth.

And they are avoided by the desperate plankton,

who cling to the lives of others,

and who kill themselves to be one of us.


Though we are not sure why,

for we are all the same;

we are mere selfish creatures

orbiting the sun

searching for a reason to keep on living.