After four months, the doves’ echolalic
cooing was already a phenom
we anticipated at dusk, unless a soughing rain
found our bougainvillea-rimmed balcony.
Spotted doves they were, with banded necks
black-and-white. The three-part cooing
led us, falsely, to surmise these long-tails
were a collectivity, a pitying, a cote.

At times, one would swoop—just one—from where?
Most often it would glide to a tile ledge
of the apartment across the off-white alley.
He . . . she . . . Pigeon genders confound me!—
would skitter between landings, anxiously.
It would have the jitters. Some would say the tremors.
After a few last shakes—shivers of trepidation—
it would tuck its head and rest, silent and alone.