Wednesday, January 8, 2020


If you have ever
walked south
by southeast down
a diagonal avenue

and come to a sudden
ramshackle clearing
in the freezing brightness
of a 10 a.m. January

and seen—above the few bare
sycamores there, the triangular
rim of bedraggled building cornices,
and the boarded-up fountain lying
dormant in the center—

dazzling dozens
of undulating pigeons, all
graywhite and frenzied
and swooping in clusters,

all flecked iridescent
with the high-angled light
and perfectly synchronized
in their ad hoc pantomime;

then you might
have understood
for a fraction of a second

at once, both
the thrill
that must lie beyond a word
like spontaneity 

and the rarity
(bordering on magical)—
anywhere on earth,

let alone the universe—
of such a thing as
a single
unified gesture.