That's not an owl, he tells me.
It's only a pigeon who coos.
I so want it to be an owl,
soft, with brown and soiled feathers,
choking up last night's catch
into careful pellets.
I was taught about owl pellets,
how the owl devours
a mouse, still warm,
as it falls into the stomach.
What the owl fails to digest
comes back in clumps,
We opened these pellets,
sorting through bones and bits of fur to
reconstruct what was once there,
making neat piles of miniscule skulls
next to rib bones.
I didn't think of what I was touching,
only of the act of recreation,
sifting and peeling back layers.