Mud Pigeon

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.

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TopArt by Gilbert Li and Lauren Wickware

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