a story that reads like a poem or

A sound leaps, wing beats

catches his turn into the library

and thinks he hears

Greetings.I am Mallorca.

O, so unexpected, a voice from the wilderness

(a bundle of colors, red, yellow and blue,

a parrot, perched six foot high.)

I’m Dante.

Are you then from the Balearic Islands?

My master’s sister brought me from Costa Rica.

O, my childhood playmate, Estrelita.

What are you doing?

My master wants to learn Shakespeare’s sonnets.

He reads the lines. I repeat them.

Repetitions for hours oblivious of time

to bind the lines to hairpin folds of memory.

A vocal amanuensis, a pet companion.

I am from a new breed of birds

trained to be good listeners

not unlike the owls of Harry Potter.

You are special

like sweet berries in the desert.

Or like a concubine, not free.

A gold anklet shines on Dante’s eyes.

I’m sorry, he says, with a look of sadness.

I have to say goodbye.

When I comeback, can you teach me Spanish?

Please do come back.

Birds can be lonely.

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