when the flock moved

I know pigeons are rats with wings, but when the flock moved, I stopped. I closed my eyes and felt wings on my shoulders. Soft squeaks accompanied each flap. I pretended to move with the flock, standing still, pretended the concrete fell away and down, and I, fixed in the world, flying.

Two seconds passed. When I opened my eyes, the wedge of sidewalk had emptied. No more rats with wings. No more me as I was before; no more pretend flight.

I don’t learn the hard way, three-act mistakes dripping in diamonds and denouement. My lessons are little, sudden, sharp, gone.

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I acknowledge that I live and work on stolen Cowlitz, Clackamas, Atfalati, and Kalapuya land.
I give respect and reverence to those who came before me.