Like clothespins holding socks on a backyard line,
or nylon knots between beads of a hand-made necklace,
pigeons perch high above the city skyline.
Each blue-black marker holds a space,
as if hands took pains to order them,
placed them with a precision
that prevents pecks and squabbles.
Is it instinct that positions pigeons so?
Or did they, like us, learn it was safer to stand apart?
Is it respect or survival that dictates space?
As sentinels surveying the scene,
their feet grasp lines that transport pulses,
carry our stories, our longings to connect.
They teeter on criss-crossing telephone wires
that allow us to technically touch.
Perhaps it is stepping too close to one another that parts us,
perhaps stepping closer would prevent it.
On this wire I long to see
one brave, or foolish, bird sidle up to another,
an avian Gandhi willing to risk a poke
or a peck on the cheek.