To Bukowski, #44

The Iowa Review - - FRONT PAGE - Mark wis­niewski

“it’s a shock­ingly nice-look­ing bird” she said & the old man sat up & said “that’s what I used to think” “be­fore your wife turned on you?” “yes”

she stepped to the win­dow un­locked it raised it 2 inches the old man didn’t move so she raised it 6 more

the para­keet shiv­ered blinked let its feath­ers set­tle hopped onto the gritty side of the sill she sat be­side the old man her hand found his ti­ta­nium

knee “you sure we should let it sit there?” he asked

the para­keet dropped it­self to the strip of desert be­side the dry-rot­ted sid­ing & the bird­shit-stained lot

it hopped again then again then stood in the dark like a small faded statue of St. Jude

“gonna get pecked to hell by those crows in that olive tree” the old man said “those crows” she said care­fully “are gone”

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