David Hathwell

The Pigeon Is a Shoe
by David Hathwell

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.

David HathwellDavid Hathwell is a former English teacher living and writing in the Bay Area. He has degrees in English, from Stanford and Columbia, as well as an advanced degree in music theory, from CUNY, and is now a piano student at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.His work has appeared in Slant, Measure, The Chaffin Journal, California Quarterly, and Cordite Poetry Review, and will appear in the new literary journal, as yet unnamed, of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

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