At first it was just a whiff
of old days, a hesitant
air that moved this way and that
near the quilt.
It was a smell
that flew right into her arms
and licked her hair
whenever she walked into the room.
It grew stronger with each passing day.
Not even the stubborn sunshine
of open windows could cleanse it.
She tried incense.
mingled with the smell
and made it worse. Her lover said
I’m moving out.
And he did.
She moved out too
and they closed all the doors to the other room.
The smell needed a home.
A week later they found a pigeon
trapped between the cooler and the window pane.
In the rain, its mate
turned round and round
and round and round in blue-grey explosions
like the February sky and gurgled
through the day
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