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Appeal to Blue Jay with Zip Tie

I keep mistaking trash for breathing things.

Each deception breaks my heart.

White bags drift like pigeons.

Styrofoam playacts as speckled crab.

Who litigates the line between dead and alive anymore?

Certainly not you ⁠—

a translucent twig in your beak,

ready to weave life of refuse,

as if the difference made no difference.

Oh, teach me to reclaim what I must to survive.

Rachael Petersen

Photo: "Survival" by Charles Park

Poetry by Rachael Petersen

Rachael is a writer and researcher in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Her writing explores how humans can create meaningful experiences of belonging in a culture that conspires to separate us from ourselves, each other, and the natural world. Her creative writing has been featured in The Rumpus, The Outline, Ruminate, Pinkley Press, and Wherever Magazine.

Art by Charles Park

Born in Los Angeles, California, Charles Park's work focuses on compositions within urban and outside environments. Park's interventions with reclaimed materials within the landscapes help unveil depth introspectively while also exposing the innate characteristic of human survival. He currently holds an MFA degree in Photography from Parsons the New School for Art and Design. His work has been exhibited in New York and internationally.

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