I wanted something that wasn’t a statue that pigeons could defecate on. —Carolyn Forché

BLESSINGS

I, on the other hand, invite
the pigeons to defecate on my poems—

Smear each one
so the words are no longer antiseptic—

better smudged by droppings
than sit on a white page.

Nothing lasts forever—

I want each letter to taste
the pigeon’s dropping,

I want the air to smell foul,
I want the letters to fade,

the ink to bleed
into the waste

like a painter’s palette
creating new hues

like a body in the earth
bearing maggots

readying the soil
for a rich harvest

like a lover’s sticky fingers
bearing the other's odor

I invite the pigeons
to bless this page.

— Abraham Menashe