RED CROWN * How a Toronto pigeon sold for five thousand dollars, is delicately inserted into a tube, sleeps, and wakes in new hands in Dubai. * How the butcher bird skewers its prey, impales it on thorn or spike for later. * How coyotes have erased rabbits and gophers from their holes, but not wild turkeys from scrub or low pine. Their toothy spurs, hard breast plates, eagle eyes in Sunday dinner dress. * How red-crowned cranes race from Sibera to Korea and back again; the flock in Eastern Hokkaido who've shorted migratory switch. * How a black paper crane, South Korea-sent, years late is found pressed between two books. Love, _____. * How the dead forever home, like blind pilots for territory real or imagined. An island recorded, but long unseen. Years of endless water. Mongoose dreams. KIC 4862625 The threading of a needle through squinted eye, a world with four suns strung and burning. Or closer, the fence, acres long, breached only at the farthest point and still unnoticed. Never one to make things easy, or to make them at all, the orbit of fatted children that loop around every bus stop and station an unsettling question. On boarding, the arc of plastic handles just low enough to be missed, wind flat stomach, which is not vanity but a lacking. More inside than one can see and no way to extract it. Existence of the possibility of existence inferred only by how close a stranger stands, or doesn’t. How many times we’ve scanned the sky for life, or for something to explain how the dark spaces are heavy with so much. A herd of cattle on the head of a pin; a trillion stars and no way to reach them. The understanding that if life hasn’t discovered me yet, its gaze has already passed by. Dani Couture is a poet and novelist. Her second collection of poetry, Sweet, was shortlisted for the Trillium Book Award for Poetry and won the ReLit Award. A third collection of poetry, Yaw, is forthcoming in 2014. She is the literary editor at This Magazine.