The Birds – Ian Ganassi

The rubble accumulates,
Along with the pigeon pies.

Or perhaps they are a form of sadness,
Like the boxes of Red Hots we bought
At the comic book store.

No one wants to know
What made them hot.

But their packages disappear
With the first rain, giving themselves up.

And death shall have no dominion.

The tangle of languages that language was,

While in the topiary the birds
Are speaking a language from which we are
Permanently excluded.

As for me, I’m convinced some sort
Of communication is going on,
Even if it’s only rhythmic.

But perhaps they’re just lying in wait,
Like in the Hitchcock movie:
The lovebirds want to love us to death.

Don’t look now—some kid with a slingshot is after
The sparrows again. And I remember
A dream about “a demon pig named Jodie;”

It brought me to this impasse.

A single isolated cell in the corporate
Petri dish with bars behind which strippers
Make a good buck. And to run by the river gilded

With sun and birdsong on any green morning
No longer with embossed place settings got
The names of the guests all wrong.

Ian GanassiIan Ganassi’s work has appeared recently or will appear soon in numerous literary magazines, such as New American Writing; BlazeVox; First Literary Review-East; Clockwise Cat, and The Yale Review, among many others. His poetry collection Mean Numbers was published in 2016. His new collection, True for the Moment, is forthcoming from MadHat Press. Selections from an ongoing collaboration with a painter can be found at