19 November 2008

charles goldman

the empty plaza
charles goldman

I have never seen an empty plaza,
there are always the pigeons
who gather to the man with
his bag of crumbs.

Scatter the bird feed and
they will come,
they will come ravenous
and like locusts devour
whatever hits the ground.

And as soon as his bag is empty
they go
and do not return,
except to give a cursory glance
hoping for a remnant
of that recent feast.

Even a twitch of a muscle
can then alert the pigeons
whose eyes flick
like little shutters,
behind which an empty head
gawks awaiting
that one new morsel.

What if it never comes?

I have never seen a plaza
empty of pigeons
because always
someone arrives
in their loneliness,
in their hunger to be
an attraction, to fill
the emptiness inside,
just as he filled his paper bag
with crumbs
to gather the hungry birds
to his feet.

He sits in solitude among
the pecking and blinking
rats of the sky
who are driven to return
by his bag of crumbs,
like an audience
to whom he feeds
his empty life.

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