The last blue pigeon has died,
leaving a hole in the sky.
Once the air darkened with bruise,
stifled by wingbeat. Now the cries
of filthy children suffocate
the distance from here to the sea.
You want to pose on the shore
with blue pigeons circling above—
their song a solo high note
that carries a friendly threat.
You want to rake the guano
from rocks above the tideline
and sell it to perfumeries
advertising in Vogue and Elle.
Blue pigeons were big business
in our childhood when the rivers
stank of acid and dyes from mills
churning out cottons and woolens
we wore to school, church and dinner
with our parents’ creepy friends.
The last specimen died of lust
naked air couldn’t fulfill.
It fell from the sky like a bomb
and exploded in depths of science
the intellect hadn’t yet plumbed.
The hole in the sky looks large enough
to stick our heads through to see
daylight stars brimming with pride.
Maybe if you stood on my shoulders
you could reach that hole and look
into both the past and future
where the latest colors evolve.
William Doreski’s work has appeared in various e and print journals and in several collections, most recently The Suburbs of Atlantis (AA Press, 2013).
Editor’s Note: Watch for more of William’s work this week!