Journal » Trout 14 » Up There, Perched [Jade Sunouchi]
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Up there, perched

Jade Sunouchi

I am halfway under—I sense their shadows press
before I follow the droppings,
white, olive smear, flicks of bronze gruel,
painted to cement.
I look at the furrowed pigeons
squatting on concrete beams under H1.
Under ruffled coats, their bodies shift
after truckloads of suffocation.
I hold my breath under here. Stop to read
a posted phone number to report the dead.

Today one fella rests on his side
walked over, preserved,
feathers intact over a pillowed head
plumes splayed into a feather duster.
I could take him home
if his faced-up eye
was not a glassed coconut jellybean.

I blink through disease, malnutrition,
tires burning, old age,
wonder if my cleansed eyes and nose
have been too well-trained to ignore the so-called unsightly.
I must have walked here more than three months
before noticing the sign and the shadows.
It took death to change the view.


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