Let's face it,
my cooing cannot coax the rain from the sky.
I carry no olive branch,
no celestial message of hope and salvation.
I'm certainly not Ishtar's companion,
Hachiman's sacred symbol,
the Holy Spirit,
or Aphrodite's pet.
And Kris Angel would never work me into his act.
I am the rat of the sky
A red-eyed wedding crasher
Carrier of ectoparasites and Histoplasmosis.
My feathers outweigh my skeleton.
My bones are hollow.
I saunter down city streets,
dive-bombing your heads,
shitting on your windshields,
and never letting you forget I am there.
No one will mourn me when
my hackle is snapped
unceremoniously by a peregrine falcon,
or a redwing hawk.
It's funny how you can adore and abhor
the same creature.
I wish I could peck out your eyes,
make you see us as more than your emblem.
Or perhaps, I will let you call me dove.
And when I am eating bread from your palm,
I could imagine you imagining
your dead relative's soul inside of me.
Victoria Nordlund teaches creative writing at Rockville High School in Vernon, CT. She is also an adjunct professor at the University of Connecticut. Her work is published in Pank Magazine, Eunoia Review, Amaryllis and Strange Poetry. She is the 2016 NEATE New England Poet of the Year and took first place in the CWP's poetry contest.