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Im Talking to a Pigeon About How We Broke Up Last Night
Caroline Colantonio

I’m talking to a pigeon about how we broke up last night.

I actually think he might be dead —

petrified under a park bench.

Then someone comes out of Starbucks,

drops a crumb of a bacon sandwich,

and it’s obvious he’s alive; he waddles with urgency.

So I just keep keeping on and start to cry

talking about how I sent you 35 text messages in one night,

how that makes me insane,

not even subjectively.

They were about Julia’s wedding

and your guitar pedal board

and then I sent ten hypothesizing

about whether you’d fallen asleep

or if you were purposely ignoring me.

Turns out you’d fallen asleep.


I’m recounting it to a bird without a wingspan.

I nicknamed him The Constable

because he has a militant stoic look about him.

Are those even good descriptors for a pigeon?

I don’t think I’ve ever looked at one for this long.


As we sit together for hours (in his case, stand),

I’m telling The Constable our whole story —

how you stole my heart,

how I can’t be better without you.

Somehow I get hoarse when I realize

you’re going to die sometime

and I wasted all these nights fighting

about a stupid detail

like why you waited so long to tell me something.

I even forget what it is.

I forget the whole thing.

He might be over me,

I hear myself say out loud.

People are staring

and I start to wonder if maybe I’m imagining The Constable.

My mom calls and I don’t pick up.

There’s a high-pitched squawk;

I realize that actually this pigeon is hurt

and then I’m like blaming myself for maybe being so sad I killed a pigeon telepathically from a park

bench or whatever.


I reach for him,

ignoring the sanitation alarm bells

going off in my germaphobe mind.

His squawk becomes an anguished cry

so I resume my position on the bench

looking into black bulbous eyes,

not really knowing what’s going through his mind.

It’s almost a speech, what I seem to try.

I’m pacing the length of the park bench

telling him how my dad’s been sick for a decade,

how one of my classmates died.

I legitimately wonder why I reach for him again.

He’s there but he’s shy.

I don’t want to scare him

and I really don’t want him to leave

so I back off

and send another text message.

No reply.

Everything means too much to you,

I’ve been told by more than one guy.


It’s now near one a.m.

and I’m googling how to apologize to animals

because I’ve said so much to a pigeon

that actually I need to leave —

not because he’s hurting,

but because I am.

It’s been so long since I’ve had a friend

who didn’t get bored of me

and I don’t want to ruin this.

It seems like just another dumb day,

but I’m talking to a pigeon about how we broke up last night —

an emotional and a social crime.


I get up and I’m back to being another lonely person

with a silent story

in a city where people just walk by.

I text you one more, like the movies.

If all these years were for nothing,

I have to have

one more

quintessential

goodbye line.

It’s

I’m talking to a pigeon about how we broke up last night.


Four hours later,

I see a notification.

I wonder if it’s magnificent,

if we’ll meet up again like Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck

lost in each other’s eyes,

but your text is just a heart emoji and the single word:

why.



Caroline Colantonio is a Toronto-based poet, singer, and songwriter. She is currently working on a Masters degree in Creative Writing at the University of Toronto.