Matador Review

A Quarterly Missive of Alternative Concern

Jeanette Beebe

birds of pink



Pink is a whole chicken cut open.
It's the thing left raw, bleeding out.

We want to believe the animal
lived well and died humanely.

If we force ourselves to think
about it, we hope for a quick

killing: a neck wrung in a blink
or stretched taut under a knife.


Staked on the front lawn, pink
is worn as a coat, beak down,

as if a fake bird could have a real
appetite, grazing on our grass.


In the wild, flamingos are paint
pellets shot inside out — pink

because they eat pink creatures,
pink because of the pink inside.

Dead pink keeps flamingos alive.

Jeanette Beebe is a poet and journalist. Her reporting has been featured in Scientific American and is regularly broadcast on the NPR station in Philadelphia (WHYY). Her poems have appeared in FIVE:2:ONE, After the Pause, Crab Creek Review, Crab Fat, Delaware Poetry Review, Heavy Feather Review, Nat. Brut, Rogue Agent, Tinderbox, and Tipton Poetry Journal, and are forthcoming in Dialogist, Fjords Review, and Metatron. An Iowa native based in New Jersey, she holds an A.B. from Princeton, where she was lucky enough to write a poetry thesis advised by Tracy K. Smith.