I was sitting outside on a bench with my superhero nephew eating lunch. With hummus and avocado-filled sandwich between our teeth, I noticed several pigeons swarming close by. A man and child sat nearby and suddenly the man said,”
“Don’t feed those birds anything. They’re disgusting. Spread disease. Just horrible.”
Several of my friends have a strong faith in what they call their spirit animal (a creature you identify with). After taking an unnecessary quiz, I was informed that my spirit animal is a butterfly. Oddly enough, this is the only image tattoo on my body. I used to collect butterfly images. I loved the idea of symmetry and their magical quality: being spun from what once was a caterpillar. I’ve grown out of my butterfly stage, though I still find them stunning. However, I don’t feel symmetrical at all. My thoughts are ragged and parts of my body sometimes engages in silent treatments with other parts.
I could easily say elephant. I find their skin romantic. The weight of them and desire to walk toward what they need like water causes me to love them even more.
My poetry’s spirit animal is an elephant. I am a pigeon.
Pigeons were the first postal workers! They flew through wind and rain to deliver letters before there were stamps and blue boxes on many corners. They may spread disease, but so do humans. They are also deeply curious with an impressive appetite. They will find food hidden in the crevices of stones. To me, pigeons are fearless.
In Brooklyn, I pass by a pigeon with a slight hop, missing a foot. It does not complain, though of course I recognize that I do not speak its language. It moves about, researching its surroundings. I am a pigeon.
Parts of me are missing or maybe I am missing something. Maybe I am missing out on what all this is on me. Maybe I am just searching just like these pigeons for nourishment to my body.
Yes, I am a mailbox (just like they once were).
Yes, I spread disease, though I am grateful that at this moment I am without ownership of such germs.
Yes, I am misunderstood, but I am still trying to understand myself as well.
I am a pigeon.