you will not notice the white-feathered fluff
on the bellies of the pigeons
who fly overhead
in this world of birds and the people who praise them.
If deprivation is the word that falls from your lips,
you will not notice the taste of the winter wind,
or the warm space between an almost-kiss
in this world where frozen space is not bereft of life,
but just cold enough to slow you to a silent stroll,
and guide you, heavy-footed, to another body.
If deprivation is what you feel in your belly,
in that soft, tender part that crawls beside hunger,
you will not understand that you recognize the shape of longing
only because you’ve touched its opposite,
placed the thin pad of your shaky finger on someone else's temple
and felt the faint pulse of that singular life