My Parrot Has Died

By MIGUEL-ANGEL ZAPATA

 

My parrot has died in a clinic in Huntington. His life was a miracle
He was the envy of all the birds in the neighborhood. For five
years he sang a piece by Boccherini and knew a couple Mexican
pop songs by heart. When he got excited he whistled at the girls who
passed by my house.

When he was happy, the house was a joy. His harmonious whistling
infected with happiness the jealous parakeets in the other cage. Better I’d
been a canary, he would tell me: death is a lullaby beneath
a tremendous poplar that protects us. The poplar likes its family, and lets
fall its leaves like bloody money
. It is an enormous sky from
where they can see the waterfalls, the wings of the birds that return to see
water at the source.

Today I’m sad. My parrot was a piece of heaven in a world of fear.
Translated by Loren Goodman

 

Miguel-Angel Zapata books include Lumbre de la letra, Escribir bajo el polvo, El cielo que me escribe, Cuervos, Los muslos sobre la grama, the bilingual A Sparrow in the House of Seven Patios, and Fragmentos de una manzana y otros poemas.

Loren Goodman is the author of Famous Americans, Suppository Writing, and New Products.

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My Parrot Has Died

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