You, Me, and Red Knots by Bob Sykora

ACEO Set : 1/4 by Norahz Art
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You, Me, and Red Knots

We’re hung over in a Vegas hotel from the entire
plastic blender of margarita we got from Jimmy

Buffet’s restaurant the night before when we walked
drinking aimlessly up and down the strip.

You try to distract yourself from the headache, the four
hours of driving ahead, the things we might

have said the night before. You’re watching
a PBS documentary about red knots – these tiny birds

and their relationship with Delaware horseshoe crabs.
The red knots will migrate 9000 miles from Tierra del Fuego

up to arctic Canada to breed. My mom calls to ask when
we’ll arrive at her house in LA. On the last full moon in May

the red knots arrive in Delaware Bay to double
their weight on horseshoe crab eggs.
I tell my mom

we’re still not on the road, ignoring the fact
that the only voice we’ve heard all morning

is the documentary narrator, now describing how
horseshoe crabs are harvested for antibiotics, so the red knots

can’t feed enough to survive up north when they finally
get to mate. You say something so typically you:

how the universe is just so beautifully connected and we’re
always ruining it. The red knots won’t be able to survive

if the horseshoe crab population doesn’t increase.
I hang up the phone and look at you, the rings

around your eyes entirely focused on the television’s
groan. The narrator hints there may be hope

for the red knots.

Bob Sykora

Bob Sykora is currently an MFA candidate at the University of Massachusetts Boston and the poetry editor for Breakwater Review. In a previous life he was a high school teacher. His recent work can be found in Devilfish Review, The Monarch Review, and Literary Orphans. He can be found at