Kate Peper

The Weight of a Bridge

made so much heavier by pigeon shit,
the slow accretion and stink of it all.
Generations of bland-eyed birds
with softly fluorescent wings fanning
as they alighted, shat, cooed.

Nobody guessed they could crush a bridge
over time, or how the brass balls of the Wall Street Bull
would be so shiny from all the years of hands touching,
the testicles some totem of luck or fortune
made smaller year by year —
the way our great love was reduced
to that last day we met by the Mississippi.

Spring, the Russian olives mad with perfume.
The moment you said over
the dead dog came into view,
draped over the rock in the river, hair worn off,
skin obsidian, lapped by water.