Once, as I pecked a crumb from a sidewalk, a man kicked me sideways into the face of a building. The air emptied itself of my humid spirit. The man, feeling a sudden draft at his neck, went home to clean his boot. Yet there I was the next day, rat bird resurrected, cooing like a fool. Glad for the crusted ledge high under the hotel sign, where my sloe-eyed children doze. Thinking I am happiness with a crumb in my crop. When the signal comes, I rise and race with my fellows in a mob around the water tower. There is never only one of us. We are made of diesel soot, gristle, and the blunt rain that falls on tombs. Our beds stink of shit. Yet all day long we matter to ourselves, we resist the miseries. Human, make wings of your hands and follow me. I will take you from this dirty world.