These are the same birds,
For all practical purposes—
Not literally, obviously—
But the same birds that were here when
Ponce de Leon looked for the Fountain of Youth, or whatever,
And slaves arrived from the Ivory Coast, or wherever,
Singing their songs on the blood-stained deck.

But birds know nothing of blood,
Except maybe that it smells like lunch
To the carnivores.
And why not? Feast on us,
Ye birds of prey,
Peck our eyes and limbs to the bone,
Tear our guilty flesh in strips,
|And swallow us down,
While the gay-colored flitterers
Cry their carefree pleas.