Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Love Of Pigeons

The wind was blowing softly through the fragile branches of the deep green bushes and the tender leaves of the tired creaking trees. The water of the lake lapped at the muddy shore like soft kisses bathed in saliva and completed with the loving taste of a moist tongue. There were many little broken twigs on the ground, half covered in the mud, half bathed in the rays of sunlight that made their way through the trees above. Among the twigs, there were many little black worms, twisting back and forth in the ecstasy that was the wet soil. The sounds of laughter and the honking of cars came through intermittently from the concrete path that made its way around the little lake and from the road which was only a few feet away, but seemed much farther. A dead tree extended into the water and a pink flamingo rested its long claws on the wet wood, every so often dipping its beak into the calm waves.
A young male pigeon flew in between the branches, avoiding the obstacles that were the big leaves and the possible danger of the big gray cat that sometimes was hiding in the darkness of the trees. He opened his wings, resisting the momentum that carried him downward, and he landed softly and quietly on the muddy ground next to the shore. A young female pigeon was already there, digging for worms in the mud and flapping her wings slightly as she made her way through the offerings. The young male pigeon stepped close to the female pigeon, pressing his right wing against her slightly. The female pigeon reacted with a slight jump and a quick turn of the head. She looked at the male pigeon with eyes full of curiosity and then the male pigeon did it again, letting his weight rest on her side for a bit longer. She again flapped her wings, this time a little harder and then she slid away from the intruder.
The male pigeon then turned away and moved closer to the shadowed darkness on the edge of the concrete path. He tried to find some worms in the deeper mud that brushed against the concrete, his little head flipping up and down, in a delicate dance that was both sudden death and an urgent desire for life. His wings flipped backwards and he stepped away and dug beneath a twig. The female pigeon raised her delicate little head, her little dark eyes bulging slightly, wondering what had become of the wings that had pressed against her not too long ago. She turned around, away from the shore, and looked for the male pigeon that was still there, digging under a twig. When his eyes came to rest on her, she turned away once again and shivered and let out a quick song that bounced against the thick trunk of the nearest tree and got lost in the rolling waves of the lake.
The male pigeon stepped close to her once again and, while looking towards the emptiness that was the path, let his wing touch hers, as if by accident. She couldn’t help but jump up slightly and she let her body shake deeply and, once again, a sweet song came out of her, rising from the depths of her full round chest and vibrating out towards the trees like a tiny ray of hope bathed in gray and blue shadows. The male pigeon responded with a song of his own and the two songs met in the moist air between them, vibrant sounds lapping at each other like soft little hairs that tremble with the hint of human breathing. The male pigeon was then feeling very bold, and he came to rest right next the female pigeon, so close that the whole side of his body was pressing against hers.
For a moment, they were both quiet and still. In that moment of silence, they could both sense the big change that was then about to come upon them. Even if they lacked a way to describe it, they could feel the change like bolts of electricity that traveled through their soft feathers into their beating hearts. It was then a mix of sharp fear, like the teeth of silver knives, and hopeful emptiness, like soap bubbles that fly away on a lazy afternoon. The change then cradled them like warm loving hands and it lifted them away from the mud, even through their little bodies never left the ground. There was a sudden radiance that bathed the muddy ground in light and then the sound of giant footsteps and then more footsteps and then silence again.
The male pigeon pressed himself again against the female pigeon’s body, but this time she didn’t resist at all and instead, she pressed herself against him as well. The moment of change had passed and it had altered them forever, and its echoes would still be ringing through their feathers, long after the day became night and then day once again. Their bodies trembled together in the burning echoes of its passing.
The water still lapped softly at the muddy shore and the flamingo was still dipping its beak into the waves, but something had changed forever, something had touched the color of the leaves and the sound of the water, something had invaded the substance of the wind itself and made its cool touch a bit warmer. The male pigeon could feel it and he could also feel that his partner felt it too. They let their wings press softly against each other again and they simply shivered in the aftermath of the change, singing songs every so often that twirled in the shadows like many-colored ribbons.
A bit later, other pigeons came and looked for worms in this little secluded spot where the couple still stood, singing and trembling. By then, things were clear and established and, seeing that their little space was no longer theirs, they both flew away, side by side and only a few feet apart. They flew satisfied in the knowledge that, when they came back down to earth, there were wings nearby and, with them, their own wings would tremble once again.

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