Lonnie Monka

A native of the United States, Lonnie Monka has lived in Israel for some years now. He loves contemplating life, walking around, reading and writing poetry, and experimenting in the kitchen. He is actively developing Jerusalism, a series of literary events and activities in and around Jerusalem.


my mistake

in New Jersey: a dead bird in my mother’s hands
it flew through a balcony door & smashed into a window
“I’ll put it back outside” she said
“maybe–it’ll wake up”
her puffy red face–still moist
she cried over that dead bird–dead bird–a bird
Alle-Faye–my sister’s name
Tziporah–my grandmother’s name
their name–meaning bird

*          *          *

in Jerusalem: pigeons enter my apartment through the balcony door
discharging watery poop & feathers before leaving
once I returned to witness one
smacking itself–beak first–into the window
again & again until submission–ruffled & unwilling to move
I clamped hands around its wings
carried it to the balcony & let go
fortified by watching its flight–just as my mother didn’t
with that bird of hers I thought was dead

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