Artful decoy at the curb,
working its spell from forty feet—
a straight-line pull across the pavement,
gait steadied by stony resignation, eyes forward.
And the pigeon is only a shoe.
Really an ankle boot, I see, the neck
folded to the toe. The leather slumps,
a dead white worn to gray along the body.
So I’m spared the memory of a bird—
on this corner, at this hour,
with or without visible injury—
and, too close, the stark look of afterlife.
Though here comes a cat from months ago,
on its side on a hearth at Guerrero
and Fourteenth, here it is among the bins,
a calico stretched out lazily in the early afternoon,
its mouth open, baring the smallest teeth,
and a split pomegranate at the neck.
Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 16, Issue 4.
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