There was a time at Dufferin station when the black
lines that ridged that mud pigeon’s wings reminded me of wound
stripes on a war uniform, and because I saw it everyday
stippled with flicked cigarette
burns, I started to feel
for the dirt thing, think of it sometimes
in the dimmed light of long subway rides, its eyes
red as a fresh bullet’s entrance.
I wanted to transform its filth into a Lady
Victory, its smog blood—liquid pomegranate, its flight
Klimt-citrine. Star-eyed as a young war
bride back then, I’ve since returned
to myself, shell-shocked as a Flanders survivor. One
love the grey. Decoration—
dead in me. That bird, dull as a back room
tattoo faded under a naked bulb.