Issue #2: Boston Pigeon Pier, Michael F. Gill

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Boston Pigeon Pier

Dear Pigeon,

Thank you for visiting me on my underwater lunch break. I can not help but wonder if your flagrant obesity was your own choice, or if you were born with a silver spoon of detritus in your mouth. I live in a city of small electric fans that masquerade as people, and I’m constantly adjusting to the wind. You have sat still and pickety-pecked the ground for the past twenty-five minutes, all the while grinnin’ like a possum eating persimmons, and here I am, wondering where you’ll wander tonight, which awning or alleyway you will huddle across when the sun walks off the stage in the middle of its lines. I rarely see a pigeon after hours, in the immaculate and vivified air, on the depopulated streets that glow at three a.m. with a contagion of swift serenity. Don’t take it personally. I’m too preoccupied with echoes, the scattering smiles of people who remember your affection, and the realization that even if your personality is wearing too many closed doors, most of them do have doorknobs.

If I think of the night stretched out and sparkling in front of me I want to follow it, want to skip behind the grooves of the half-conscious and eavesdrop on the whispering liquor of lovers leaking out in languid lines from open windows. With a pair of eyes like two burnt holes meshing into the obsidian, I often contemplate the colors of my memory’s sky, the
intermittence of my voice, all the secret lives of pronouns. I did not start contemplating birds until I heard the robins sing right before five a.m., and began to feel untethered from my ambitions. Were you there, pigeon, when I realized how wonder is the acceptance of confusion, and that solutionism is the opposite of wonder? Did you see the flushed color of my face as it gave a sense of consolation? I wanted to paint my room that color. If you are still here at Central Wharf tomorrow, I would love to shellac the sides of my throat with the staccato songs I’ve learned from you and your companions.

A Person Who Speaks To Birds


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