spirit animal.

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.

how approachable are pigeons

dear oscar,

I thought of you this early morning as feet pushed me forward from fort greene toward crown heights. I walked toward the farmer’s market and noticed a man walking slowly, holding a glue trap with a tiny mouse stuck toward the end of it. This man was carrying a ledge, and I wondered where he was headed. I watched, as he tilted the mouse toward Brooklyn gravel.

This must be a metaphor for my Saturday, as I find myself tiptoeing over cracks on streets. I purchase a bag of apples for $2. I sing a song out loud, though quiet enough for only pigeons and I to overhear. One of them hops toward me and sneaks a bone between its beak. I think about taking this bird home with me. How might my life change if I slid my body over its feathered back, as we flew toward my apartment.

Last night, a woman said:
sometimes I think about drop-kicking a pigeon.

Pigeons are my favorite birds, I announced. They are curious and disheveled and independent adventurers. I think about approaching pigeons as they feed on baker’s crumbs and pizza crust left to curbsides. They are food-oriented like me. But. Are they lonely too?

you fell in love so freely and doused yourself in the aroma of longing. I do this too. I long to follow that mouse and watch it wake against the alarm of freedom. I long for a woman who lives far from eastern standard time. I long for xray analysis to serve me up an explanation for the hurricane in this body. I long for kisses to paper towel away the stains. I long for letters. Mail. Postage stamps.

I would have followed you into that field. I would have handed over all my blood. All my skin to cover your bruises like heavy quilts. I would have asked you out. Watched a movie with you. We could have shared a grilled cheese sandwich and ginger ale. You could have read all your stories to me. I’d have waited. I’d have remained.