A man, when speaking of himself
as a man, when he holds a pigeon,

when he once was a pigeon,
when he has
become, within a coop,

an approximation of a coop, when
declaring himself as behavior, a man,

sometimes an animal, some-
times rides up
on one, sometimes wearing

the skin of another. Sometimes
a man wears plaid because a man

is a pattern, because
a man gets up
to do work, a man dies,

not at the market but in the garden,
not shot-up and bloodied in the buy-

and-sell, but clean
and where,
in rows not given, but rows

he has made, his privilege rises out
of the dirt. At the outskirts of a war,

at the very edge of the light
of his kingdom
of his two room apartment,

a man can resist anything in black-
and-white, in the alto-sax spelling

out a litany of tensions,
in the horror,
in the Napoleonic code

a man is entitled to smash all the light-
bulbs in the room with a shoe for love

and broken and wild and this
time not an animal,
can call you back down

from upstairs. And for however you
lift him up from the dock, however

loud in him the train
is and the boats
and the ride and the man,

however bloody, however clean, how-
ever the scene opens asking for justice,

for murder, a man
is not the man
he refuses, not the man

he could have been if he had only been
some other man. A man can carry a dead

bird with him his
whole life,
he can let it flap around

in his guilt, and cooing, and frantic, he can
hold it and keep it there, while the heavens,

the sky and the earth,
all come looking
for collateral, all come

looking to take a man instead of a bird
because a man looking for a fight will kill

the whole world if he has to.