To His Coy Cockatoo


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

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