Had I but retained the receipt,
We wouldn’t have been forced to keep
This basalt-beaked homunculus,
Who interrupts my thoughts to cry
Out forgotten conversations,
As if old bedroom confessions
Had been discreetly tagged and taped,
Our own domestic Watergate.
The past, cracked open like a seed,
Is ground to sawdust in his beak,
As he screeches above our heads,
Dropping turds on our marriage bed.
And even when locked in his cage,
He’ll cock a raptor eye in rage
And in a fast-forward voice exclaim,
Whoops. Sorry, Edna, I just came.
There are times I think his feathered
Breast nests a CD, scratched and wrecked,
That skips and stalls upon our worst:
Weakness and earworm, scream and curse.
Like when my boss came for dinner
And from another room we heard,
During the first glass of Bordeaux,
Edna, for God’s sake, bite the pillow.
Illustration by Joren Cull