Wednesday, July 14, 2010
-Alexander J. Theoharides
When I was fourteen and it was summer,
two dead birds lay together beneath the branches
of the slender willow tree outside my bedroom window,
watching as I floated through those humid days,
pretending I was a cloud and the dead birds were weathermen,
trained to forecast my every move.
Sometimes the dead birds would play tricks on me.
“When you grow old,” one of the birds would announce
in a sage voice, “you will become an archeologist.”
“No,” the other would reply. “He’s no good at mathematics.
He’ll become a lawyer or a pastor or a clerk.”
The dead birds followed me when I left my home
and moved to Minneapolis. As I carried my duffel bags
toward the entrance to my new apartment,
I heard a high-pitched, discordant sound
coming from the ground beneath the branches
of a nearby cedar tree.
I dropped my bags and knelt by the side of the tree,
parting my hands through the blanketing red mulch
until I found the two birds lying on their backs, staring up at me.
“What on earth have you become?” the first bird asked.
I noticed that one of his wings was broken,
and sighed softly as I reached out to take him in my hand.
“Apparently, I’ve become a healer of dead birds,” I replied.
“That’s not much of anything,” the second bird told me,
squirming slightly as I picked him up and placed him
next to his brother in my left hand infirmary.
I smiled down at him. “You’re right,” I said,
“but it’s better than what I really am.”
He nodded at me. “That’s true,” he said,
“but for God’s sake put us down.
Can’t you see? We’re already dead.”
Friday, February 26, 2010
stumbles into time, an amateur
actor, used to playing third string
moon, desperate for work, unaware
the fame up ahead, unaware of the
the consistent demand, night after
year after year, century after century,
of the bad reviews, the scandals
and the skewed use, the marketing
and short marriages to lesser known comets,
holds the position boldly, washes feet
every night, gets to know the sun
and starts to work a rhythm.
Walks in eighth night, sees burning eyes
in the garden's only two naked bodies
covered in golden leaves from the first fall,
realizes who the stars are, lowers head
and falls into routine, happy to have a job
in this shit economy, this universal recession,
orbits, once again, a slave in the milky way galaxy.