pigeons in London, July 2005


when walking frame by
frame, note the stretch
of worn tendons: the resistance
between muscle & bone when
a smarting sinew screams

not one more step.     rib
cage: stationary. arms,
like pendulums, keep time
& patter tiles.     don’t bother
to look anyone in the face.

                                    not today.


Waterloo Station: a buzz
of feathers.     no trains
out.     no nesting
     the wire burned

through. the cell
phone stations     are
not working
                     I’m okay.


get on.     walk across the bridge, empowered
shirts & ties. this year’s hues are lavender &
rose. the faces of businessmen: quartz

& marble. no Davids. no
Narcissus or Hyacinth.     no good baby
                                     names this year.


the planes are not
grounded. metal
blades still sing

overhead. should that be
called comfort? get a bottle
of wine & a couple

movies. get a pint
& watch cricket. pale
photos from World War II

marinate on the walls: pubs
built & rebuilt regardless
of who hewed the bombs.

say     a few more
interruptions like these &
those boys will never run

again.     no cathode
rays in the tube. no
radiation or bus transfers.


air planes as missiles, commercial
jets wedged into trade
like toothpicks. human bodies
as bomb shells—what came

before has a dictation: how to
not repeat. how to sentence
a new way of dying.     I was the first
                                     to die of this.


the birds & desk clerks
whimper     go home     go home


         go home     go

don’t go home

go about nesting.

                           there is
no place for you.


hold body over stained sinks. wash
the sirens out from under
fingernails. watch the ash of receipt
paper flake from a face.     don’t

recognize yourself
                              tonight. the world
you wake up in     will not
                                           be yours.

Panika M. C. Dillon is from Fairbanks, Alaska and Austin, Texas. She received her MFA in creative writing from Sarah Lawrence College. Her work has recently appeared in
Mid-American ReviewROARSnapdragon, and 3Elements Review. She works as a political organizer and legislative reporter in Central Texas. 

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