Once startled, you shall feel hours of weird sadness
afterwards. This is known as the rule of the pigeon.
This is the rule of the Herbert scholar: your head
shall come to rest in a Ziploc terrarium, not a park.
You shall be feted in the pages of New York magazine,
and at department meetings, over eggnog, mourned.
This is the rule of the girl you loved: you shall heave
and heave all night, alone, and not from love, not
from anything like love. Peel that mattress off your back,
but peel you never will the remorse-stain, and
this is the rule of The Who, you shall be Muzak,
you shall be orchestral, electronic and franchised.
You shall be blood, is the rule of the sleepless night,
and you shall be drained of blood, is the rule of dawn.
The scholar and the pigeon shall inhabit the same street,
your street, but you shall remember the pigeon longer.