“Granville St.” by Dasha Kan2 min read

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Photo by Aditya Chinchure

negotiates the smog and smear of my wide windows
slick and smart and self-conscious across the hardwood
Nobody will ever love this city like me
Nobody would want to.

– Rhea Tregebov “Leaving Toronto”

I complain about the heat.
My father tells me
of boyhood days when
walls dripped
with moisture and the halls were sweating.
I watch a flock of pigeons hiding
under the shade of a tall, skinny shadow,
bodies cramming together into a point.
One lands on my windshield,
negotiates the smog and smear of my wide windows.

A bird leads me into a bar,
fall crunching
beneath my boots.
He flies onto the patio,
perches on a twisted iron rail,
and I swear his face is smug.
His wings quiver, flies too close
at a man who swats him
to the floor, walking
slick and smart and self-conscious against the hardwood.

Dimpled dirt shimmers,
packed down with the chill of permafrost
The pigeons are still here
even though my third
grade teacher told me birds go somewhere warmer
in the winter.
They are their own comedy show,
the icy lid of the dumpster their stage.
Nobody will ever love these pigeons as I do.
Nobody will ever love this city like me.

Goose feathers give way to airy jackets,
but all still wrapped in scarves
and red Olympic gloves.
I walk to the traffic light behind Safeway, crinkly plastic bags
pulled taut in each hand.
As I wait there’s a pigeon near my foot
pecking at a crease in the gravel.

I feel the joy of an orange being squeezed,
joy that I don’t understand.
Nobody would want to.

Dasha Kan is Chinese-Canadian and born and raised in Vancouver. She is currently teaching English in Japan. In her free time, she spies on dogs that she wants to pet.

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