30 June, 2007


Walking home on Market Street I almost stepped on a pigeon that had moved on. Men were working right next to him on the windows of a closed storefront. There was nothing on the sidewalk to indicate what he died of--no evidence of violence, no weapons, no discarded coke can, no pile of tossed-out food. Everyone else kept walking. My heart jumped up to my throat and I started thinking about why dead pigeons are so altering for me. It just makes no sense, I thought. Every dead pigeon I see in the City has died before its time.

As I passed into another block, below a young ginkgo tree I saw a dead sparrow. It lay on its side in full profile and had been flattened, as if crushed; I saw it from above as if it had only two dimensions and was embedded in the concrete. It was a sparrow-mosaic. A branch with a leaf still on it lay just outside its beak. The mosaic was beautiful, green and brown and fawn and gray.

How do dead birds lie like this, on clean-swept, dingy sidewalks, in the City, people stepping over them? How do they die?

As if all tenderness had been wrung from the world for just that day.


itzktb said...

Beautiful piece.

Ponygecko said...

Wow! Many thanks, itzktb! I know your work as well...likewise--