Still, Moving

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.

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Laryssa Wirstiuk

Laryssa Wirstiuk

Laryssa Wirstiuk is a poet and writer based in New Jersey, where she lives with her miniature dachshund Charlotte Moo. Her writing has been published in Word Riot, Gargoyle Magazine, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and Atticus Review, among other venues. You can view her portfolio here.
Laryssa Wirstiuk

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