I heard doves this morning, out past the wired glass of the skylight upstairs. I was lying on the carpet beneath the shielded sky and I held my breath so the sound of me in here wouldn’t block the sound of the only thing keeping me alive.
Without breath and wooed by the slow call of their song, I got closer to not being here. I wasn’t where I was anymore. Or at least it seemed that way. And that was almost enough. I had to breathe again, and when I did I heard nothing more.
I’m breathless again. The dove is back and its song stretches and cinches my heart in the same beat, sweeping me away to where I long to be. I tell myself, see, you don’t have to leave for this, it’s right here.
But the saddest part of me wonders if the doves are here this season, this one summer, to tell me to leave—if they’re here to remind me of this thing I can’t live without so that I’ll go to where it really is.
Then it’s gone again. After singing above me for an hour it flew off. Now, where I felt the balm and the blessing inside me I now see myself disappearing there instead. I’m cut loose to a smallness within.
The faint song of the dove out there is the small break from it all. The racket and the din of crows and commuters, the thrum of my own thinking.
Doves are here this year. I know they weren’t last year. Who can I ask to corroborate this in some official way: a scientist who can explain the phenomenon to me? Or do I ask an angel who will explain a different phenomenon?
A cold spell has fallen out of the smokey sky and the windows are closed. I’ve opened a little space between the sliding doors and in slides the sounds of a dove. The room is cold and my feet are chilled. I’ll put on socks. I can’t close off the song.