Still-Life with Two Dead Peacocks and a Girl

by Diane Seuss

Diane Seuss

She comes out of the dark seeking pie, but instead finds two dead peacocks.
One is strung up by its feet. The other lies on its side in a pool
of its own blood. The girl is burdened with curly bangs. A too-small cap.
She wanted pie, not these beautiful birds. Not a small, dusky apple.
from a basket of dusky apples. Reach in. Choose a dusky apple.
She sleepwalked to this window, her body led by its hunger for pie.
Instead this dead beauty, gratuitous. Scalloped green feathers. Gold breast.
Iridescent-eyed plumage, supine on the table. Two gaudy crowns.
She rests her elbows on the stone windowsill. Why not pluck a feather?
Why lean against the gold house of the rich and stare at the bird's dead eye?
The girl must pull the heavy bird into the night and run off with it.
Build a fire on the riverbank. Tear away the beautiful feathers.
Suck scorched tough dark meat off of hollow bones. Look at her, ready to reach.
She'd hoped for pie. Meringue beaded gold. Art, useless as tits on a boar.

Last updated March 11, 2023