Learned today that flamingos can live up to seventy years.
I gasped at the fact, thinking about a bird, pink and slender
and older than my parents, out there somewhere preening
its coat of feathers, or sifting through a lake for food,
a flock of them flying southeast, their bodies against the sky
like a postcard.
Meanwhile, several states from here, another Black twenty-something
who could’ve been me, but wasn’t for no reason other than chance,
was killed in his sleep,
his name against the TV like a Wednesday.
What does it mean when I wish us all the lives of birds?
Don’t we deserve a vibrant life? A colorful life?
A life where we can strut into the water
wearing our years like a gown?