If a Bird

If a bird flew into your apartment,
the fat, filthy pigeon kind
with brown spots on white
instead of the grey sort
movie-goers imagine,
and this bird, instead of flying
dangerously from wardrobe
to  mantel, to refrigerator—
just landed in the sink.
And he didn’t move.
There would be nothing
scary about that, would
there? Unless you are
like my friend, and
consider the sink a ploy
to distract you into relief
so the inevitable attack is
nothing short of surprise.
And like my friend, you
call the German who
lives upstairs, and together
the two of you sweep
the pigeon from the sink and
out into the empty blue.
But what if this pigeon
was just tired? What if
he wanted to feel
water on his back
the way you do every morning?
What if he saw his pigeon-
future from the pavement
looking up and wondering
how to escape from the loneliness,
the way you do every morning?
There is something scary about that.

—Kay Cosgrove, Brooklyn, NY