A question

She asked a question, coughed. Then asked again.
He strained to hear her. What? he said, perplexed.
Her lips moved, tongue articulated. But
the wind tore her words like shards of glass
from a crash-scene window, strewed them round
the pavement, silent witnesses to unknown,
unknowable pain. He glanced across the deck.
A pigeon sat there cooing, or he thought
it cooed. He couldn’t hear it. Like an ass,
he asked again: What did you say? She frowned.
She leaned in closer to shut out the wind.
I said — but then the dove unfurled its wings,
heaved up into the air, flew overhead,
and shit on whatever she would have said.