Slow Sundays. Waking with the sun. Grey linen and pink skin. Small apartments, slow journeys home. Hanging on to the thought of two pigeons tied together at the foot, whether they would fight one another for their freedom, or whether it would occur to them that they were bound to one another in the first place.
Grey birds on warm mornings, their heads curled into a crook of warm feathers and flesh. Pink beaks, pink eyes. Old Asian men in the park, moving their arms like wings.
I once heard a pigeon’s half life lies in their legs; how easily they can lose those thin, spindly branches that bear them up. My mind lingers on the idea of a bird that can no longer land, that will have to fly until it falls out of the sky. I see one-legged birds now, and it breaks my heart to watch them trying to survive on half of what they need.
Slow mornings, slow steps. The painful, surprising simplicity of new mornings in strange, familiar places.
Sometimes my heart feels like it will burst, but I can never tell if it is from joy or devastation. From things I have been given or things I have lost.
I wonder if it would occur to the pigeons to try to break the cord binding them to each other. I wonder if they would tear their own legs off trying.
It occurs to me I’ve seen a million pigeons, but never a single egg in this grey city, a pink newborn. That somewhere there must be a trove of discarded shells and loose down, waiting to be carried away by a passing breeze. Somewhere there are hundreds of fledglings preparing to hurl themselves off rooftops.
The lunacy of that natural desire.
The fragility of those things as they move through the wind.