we mind our business the birds mind theirs


we mind our business the birds mind theirs

the birds build a nest in our lightwell
their nest is a home in the lightwell

tiny sparrow entered kitchen through the open door
can't fly out by window pane that blocks the blue it frames
desperate wings it flutters bumps its head into the glass
until the bird is nudged by broom and human hand back out

perched-bird black eyes watch us bashful in the bathroom
slamming loud they fly away

downtown taquería hosts the outside pigeons inside while the people eat
dinner's on the floor for hungry pigeons dodging under people's feet to eat

passersby get pecked by beaks and caught on camera
mama fighting tourists dives and jabs and then returns
to flattened feather-rot with opened eye on sidewalk
babies fluffed and flightless still awaiting worms

eggs ensure continuance of birds
eggs destroyed by neighbor pouring bleach

-Barry Perlman (2004)