Birds Of A Feather

By and for Bird-People

Dead Bird

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“Human” is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

We pass a dead pigeon on the street.
I say,
When I sleep, I look like that.
You say,
Dead?
I say,
No. A bird.
You say,
You don’t look like a bird.

Of course, this is silly. I do look like a bird.
I look more like a bird than I look like a rock,
Or a snowflake, or a star.
The problem is not that I don’t look like a bird.
The problem is, I look more like a human.
And so, that is all you can see in me.
I am human, so
We use the human language.
The human set of symbols.
The shape of this curve on my face, that means “nose”,
And this long bone, covered with flesh,
That is called an “arm”.

But, can we unlock a different language?
Let’s look at me with the language of the birds.
Compared to most birds, I’m an ugly bird.
But, look, I can still have a beak.
Here are the bones for the wing, short and without power,
But it is there.
And, me, I am the same.
The same as I was when you called me human.
The only thing that changed is your language.
But when you changed your language, everything changed.
Listen, your language has power over me.
Look, you are not able to see me.
Your language twists my image.

I try to take back the language.
But you tell me, no.
The words for human things are “nose” and “arm”.
You have decided I am human,
So we will use these words
For human things,
And use them to decide
I am human.

Of course,
I am not allowed to decide.

My body. My parts.
The names for them
Are out of my hands.
-Wings.
Beak.
I can not speak
Without submitting
Or hearing you laugh.

So I am in my basement
Injecting my body
With pigeon blood.
It is the only way
I can become a dead bird
In your eyes.

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