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Cormorants

The water of the harbor is calm, iridescent with diesel seeping from the bilges of moored shrimp boats. They glide through the sheen like stubby

black swans, vanishing suddenly in deep dives to the harbor bed, the undersea nothing to them but a murky firmament

through which they rocket with the stretched webbing of their feet, surfacing with fish thrashing in the vises of their hook-tipped bills, fish they swallow

whole, scales, spines, skeletons, fins and all, leaving their black necks graceless, turgid to the point of bursting, shuddering pulse-like from the blood-

red bellows of desperate gills.

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