At the Café, I Was Distracted
of a young Cornish merchant
with a thick beard, posed pinching a red carnation between
thumb and forefinger;
I shoved a dollar bill into the Tipping Is Not a City in China jar
and waited at the other end of the oak counter
for my flat white served in a thick white china cup and saucer
which I then set down –
spilling half on the empty table –
beside two young men
suited in full lumberjack attire,
hair perfectly mohawked,
eyeing and smiling
We Park John’s Duster on the Gravel Road
of the yellow house. A large cherry tree shades
the stairs to the kitchen, its branches weighed down
with sour fruit and a large dead crow.
In the kitchen Duane, our host, licks his ginger moustache,
and explains he shot the bird and hung its carcass as a warning
to its friends. He needs those cherries for dessert. Duane sips
Nescafé from a teacup as he shares his bird psychology.
I open a beer and use a coaster, then I go out to take a closer look.
The crow is slung upside down, its wings flapped open, its feet neatly
bound and tethered with a green nylon rope. And true – I don’t see
any other crows around. People who go feral vex me.
I walk down to the Duster, turn on the music and light up a joint.
Maria Pascualy grew up in Bogotá, Colombia and now lives and writes in a little white house in Tacoma, Washington. Her writing has been published in Hobo Camp Review, Pulp, Panoply, and Mulberry Fork Review.