Another year I forfeit my chance
to migrate to some warmer climate.
Here the sunshine is a prescribed lamp
and heat streaming through car vents
while I drive in India Square, where
I believe I’ve murdered a pigeon,
but the bird is already dead. It’s been hit
recently enough that feathered wings
still look like a best chance for survival:
the tools that could have transported
this creature to a destination I can’t afford
to visit. Its opalescent body is pressed
flat into the cement, but full appendages
are lifted like ferns by the October wind.
“Look alive!” I hear my varsity tennis coach
yell from fifteen years away. I guess
I’m living in the crowd, strangers bracing
my thin body as I chow down on a stale
baguette – oh, too bad, I can’t eat it.
My most fond memory of being a kid
is my grandpa giving me rye bread
to throw to the pigeons at the playground.
I wonder how much longer the wings
will flutter before the next collision.
I wonder if others take care to avoid me
before they realize I’ve already been destroyed.