Mockingbird by Peter Cashorali

The mockingbird loves something larger than himself and calls to it, wherever it is. He has in his throat an inexpensive prize from a box of Cracker Jack by which he is a spring of voice, calls in scrub jay, linnet, seagull, a few words in canary, a single phrase in dolphin. He springs into the air and displays his wings painted with explosions from comic books, his body is balsa wood and rice paper, tail the single straw that gathers the far-ranged musicians into attention and one orchestra. He speaks a dog being called to the back door, kisses blown to someone driving off to work, a small child running excitedly across a metal bridge. The morning is parceled out among mockingbirds, they dive into the shallows of the sky from the tops of telephone poles, roof peaks, upraised fingers of trees, each one fire wrapped in paper. “Come here, come here, come here. Here you are. Here you are. To me, to me, to me, to me. Quick quick quick quick. Weird thing. Weird thing.” They’re magicians dancing in the high places, pouring everything within them out into the air, their voices fill the air with delicate meshing wheels of brass and crystal and spring water. A rotary phone being dialed, a flint cigarette lighter out of fluid, drink poured quickly, Timex wristwatch being wound. “Richard Richard Richard. Mary. Mary. Maurice Maurice Maurice. Peter Peter Peter Peter.” Something is gathering together, something is pleased to be named and comes forward to be known! Its name is everything and requires many voices, mornings, the entire season to say. Why was it dismembered and sent in all directions to fall asleep and not know itself? Danger, jealousy, just the way things were? Now it’s coming this way from everywhere. When it arrives its beauty will fill all the air. Or is it here now and the mockingbirds no longer calling but greeting, no, not greeting but the voice of who they love, speaking all through the morning, longed for, dreaded, here?


Peter Cashorali spends his days in conversations. It’s a good way to live.

Photo by Fabrizio Conti on Unsplash

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