not too long ago

i witnessed an event that has plagued my memory with violent washes of pink and yellow, a bright green-yellow glare of color --

two birds were fighting, flapping.
one was obviously the dominant aggressor (always a master/slave struggle).
the little brown birds were vicious. i felt as if i was a voyeur of a history-in-the-making moment within a small world that in its own image is a galaxy (a horton hears a who philosophical camera-trick of perspective). what was the meaning of this struggle? what instigated this mutual attack?

my gut became cold and empty. as the one on top used its beak to clamp own on the other's beak, it dug its claws into feathered flesh of wings and stomach to keep it struggling underneath. then the bird drove its beak into the other bird's left eye. pecking away, my eyes tried to zoom in closer, to witness the wound of the eye in its progression. i wished i had a video-capable phone, or video camera, for that matter. the need to record these injuries, the intensity of this big movement of small bodies at 10:21am on a Tuesday morning seemed a duty to me (why else would I have been given the chance to watch this metaphorical struggle unfold? the passion of action begged to be recorded and re-worked to stand-in for a mini-meta commentary on the relationship of all binaries that fight each other only to define themselves and their place in the world.)

i am telling this now because all the birds i've seen lately have been dead. the two in a recent dream existed in a pseudo-symbiotic relationship, the flesh of the larger bird serving as fuel for the smaller, though both were close to death. walking to the mailbox i came across a small bird on its back, wings spread (of course, you say), a material memory of the symbol of freedom and flight. and today, stopping by the water in the middle of a bike ride, the same species of small brown bird was rocking back and forth, touching the shore then retreating again, and again, riding on the slight wave of the river on this Sunday afternoon. it too, was dead, and i wondered which body would decay first, the water-logged or the land-bound? surf or turf?

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