A pigeon arrived in the post. Prose poetry by Nicola Heaney

Last week, I had an unexpected delivery. I opened the door to the street to find a large cardboard box on the doorstep, wrapped in a satin ribbon the colour of an evening sky in late March. There was no note, just a label with my name and address. As I brought it into the house, it began to shiver, a life vibrating in my hands.
Inside was a pigeon, ochre eyes glaring at me from a fluff of pearlized grey and sea green. It lunged upwards, beating a fury of wings as it took flight around the small kitchen, a throatiness of panic billowing from its throat. After a few laps, it settled on top of the dresser, emptying its belly in a tsunami of guano that spattered noisily on the wooden floor.
Now, we’ve become quite attached to one another, found our ways into a routine. Every morning we breakfast at the window, looking out at empty streets. Lunchtime is mainly spent talking about all the places we will visit together once lockdown is lifted. In the evenings, we dine al fresco to a chorus of street pigeons on rooftops above calling one another to nests. At bedtime, I uncurl the navy ribbon from her foot and mount the stairs to bed, leaving her downstairs in an airless room to dream about open skies.

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