OBJECT: Dead Giraffe
BODY OF WATER: Lower New York Bay
And everything in the river was reassembled
into a shining plane that surfaced,
its wings dripping light, and headed west:
the giraffe rinsed clean of its spots,
skin, bones, and heart, immaculate
at last; the real cars and the toy cars and the parts
they became and what became
of the parts, a vast becoming,
axles freed of rotation, bones of position,
everything polished and dissociated and new,
above the city and heading west
like a visible vanishing point,
the torn edge of a wing trailing long silver threads,
the fat nacelles leaving no vapor trail,
only a long flume of altered clarity
like the glass in an old house
where the daylight moon wavers, then solidifies.
It is going west, with everything lost, it is heading home.
I would like to be aboard, but my heart is in the river.
George Estreich’s memoir about raising a daughter with Down syndrome, The Shape of the Eye, won the 2012 Oregon Book Award in Creative Nonfiction. His prose has been published in The Open Bar, Biopolitical Times,The Oregonian, Salon, and The New York Times. He lives in Oregon with his family.