Sarah Giragosian


Sarah Giragosian is a PhD candidate in Contemporary North American Poetry and Poetics at SUNY Albany. Her poems are forthcoming or published in such journals as Crazyhorse, Copper Nickel, and Measure, among others.


The Condor

Why carp about its appetite?
Post-feast, it reels around the corpse
still inflected with flies and the ship-like,
collapsing ribs inverted in the sand.

And while it considers lift off
with its phalanx of dissectors
and feasters, it drowses, anchored—stranded
by its own belly. Still, one admires

the homely extemporizer,
its dinosaur face and bald crown,
playing at the sinews of its chow,
which is considerable (an entire cow),

and bayoneting with its beak
the hide so as to scoop the pulp
and heart. Its vast hunger is not absurd,
but serviceable; living on its meal

for days, it’s free of self-offense,
alert not to the guilt that trails
great need, but to the angles of its wings
and the winds that fan its collar of fringe.

I am currently at work on a bestiary. In this particular poem, I wished to imitate Marianne Moore's charmingly didactic voice and her penchant for the peculiar and overlooked. ‘The Condor’ is an experiment in voice and a celebration of a traditionally vilified creature.