This Will Be the One about the Birds in the Man
The man takes out his toothbrush. The man places toothpaste on his
toothbrush. The man brushes his teeth. The man goes up down, left
right. The man swishes tap water. The man rinses. The man spits out.
Inside the man is a nest. Inside the nest are baby birds. Inside the
nest is a mother. Inside the mother are worms. Inside the baby birds is
nothing. The mother bird spits. The mother bird coughs. The mother bird
chokes up worms. The baby birds fight over the worms. The worms dangle.
The mother bird dishes out worms. The mother bird creaks with bird
noise. The baby birds swallow. The baby birds screech. The baby birds
are not filled up.
Yesterday the man ate an egg. Sunnyside up. Yesterday the man trimmed
his beard. The day before yesterday the man's beard was full of birds.
The day before yesterday there was a flock of seagulls housed there.
The day before yesterday there was the chance that the man, the birds
in his beard startled to movement, each altogether, that the man would
take to the sky as a human-shaped balloon, frantically swimming in air.
Yesterday the man read the newspaper. Yesterday the newspaper warned of
The man coughs. The air cold. Lungs purge. Mother bird tucks her head
to the baby birds, each one a neck. Until the mother bird pecks from
behind the man's teeth and he yawns, opening a tunnel, and she is gone
to seek more worms in the parks between the sidewalks where men dive
down against the world.
J.A. Tyler's most recent novel is Inconceivable Wilson. He is the founding editor of Mud Luscious
To link to this story directly: http://wigleaf.com/201004this.htm
Detail of illustration on main page courtesy
of Teal Wilson.
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