Living next door to a man who keeps pigeons
We only compare notes at first light, when he goes
to open up the hatch, grey bib-and-braces, ill-fitting.
They boil out from the coop, and I stand gawking,
open-mouthed throughout their exercise hour,
following each hypnotic circuit overhead as they pass,
a mist of frantic wing-beating, synchronised like a
herring shoal slicing up the sea, flashing silver
on the upstrokes. I will strike him as a bored ghost,
perhaps, there behind the glass. Or an abandoned
mannequin wearing unfashionable clothes in the
window of an empty shop, mutely oblivious to those
eye-sized spatters weeping down the sash-panes.
Original version first published in Otoliths, 2018