I live on the roof of a building. The part of the roof I live on is surrounded by brick walls, so my only view is the sky. Bugs come visit me. They buzz my patio. They sneak inside and crawl on my lips when I’m sleeping. Birds don’t come around much though. I have a little rooftop garden which might attract them, but all I grow is hot peppers. I suspect the birds somehow know to stay away from them. Or else they know to stay away from me because when I am out there, I am usually writing about you.
Occasionally I will be writing about you on my porch in the sun and I won’t know what else there is to say, so I will look up at the sky. And I will see a bird. Actually, I will see the belly of a bird, flying overhead. In a second the bird will be gone and I will have to start thinking about you again.
Sometimes the birds are alarmingly big. I live in the city so mostly they are pigeons and the occasional seagull, but sometimes a hawk or a vulture will coast over my garden on very large wings and cast a bold shadow like a graffiti stencil on the tarpaper roof. I wish that these birds were even bigger, so large that they filled the sky above my apartment and blocked out the sun when they flew by. I want a long gust of wind to blow the dead skin off my face. I want to look up from my writing and all I see is feathers. I want goose bumps when I write about you.
published 7 October 2011