A Storyby Robert Olen Butler
I never can quite say as much as I know. I look at other parrots and I wonder if it’s the same for them, if somebody is trapped in each of them, paying some kind of price for living their life in a certain way. For instance, “Hello,” I say, and I’m sitting on a perch in a pet store in Houston and what I’m really thinking is Holy shit. It’s you. And what’s happened is I’m looking at my wife.
“Hello,” she says, and she comes over to me, and I can’t believe how beautiful she is. Those great brown eyes, almost as dark as the center of mine. And her nose—I don’t remember her for her nose, but its beauty is clear to me now. Her nose is a little too long, but it’s redeemed by the faint hook to it.
She scratches the back of my neck.
Her touch makes my tail flare. I feel the stretch and rustle of me back there. I bend my head to her and she whispers, “Pretty bird.”