Pelicans fly in formation. Sometimes they’re five, sometimes twenty-five strong, rising on the gusts and jibing for position. Their beaks a weak shade of blue. A stripe of white winds from their eyes to coiled necks. Yellow eyes.

Now and then two drift high, one above the other. If they see me they don’t show any sign of recognition.

The black-headed terns, however, with orange beaks and white bodies, look at me sharply, eyes searching.

I read somewhere that birds see in magnetic fields.

Why would they see like us? 

Daniel Adler was born in Brooklyn and has lived in Portland, Oregon. He has degrees from NYU, Edinburgh University and is the nonfiction editor at Yemassee, the journal of University of South Carolina. His work has appeared or is forthcoming from J Journal, Calliope, The Cardiff Review, Entropy, and elsewhere. See @anieldadler.

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