Tomás Q. Morín
Our Prophets

    It shouldn’t have surprised me while reading 
Gorky’s remembrance of Tolstoy and devouring chicken 
on a blanket in view of the muddy waters 
that I should see a parakeet misnamed the Quaker parrot 
by some scientist poet with a sense of humor, 
not to mention fashion, because he found modesty 
in the way their lime color drapes over 
their backs and down each wing in a way that 
reminds one of a key-lime pie; though not 
the one with the dome of meringue which resembles 
the dress of a house finch, rather the wobbly 
body of the sad supermarket doppelganger; 
the impostor with the God-awful filling 
tinted green by they of the white aprons 
and soufflé hats who no doubt assume we are all children 
of Truth and would thus not know how to suffer 
a yellow-white pie with lime in its name; 
much less something important like the rapture 
that came and went last week 
for which the stores baked a special angel food cake 
labeled Manna and stuffed with so many 
mulberries it bled through; and no one I know vanished 
and perhaps it was a rapture that extinguished 
the tribe of Attsurs from which the parrot came 
that Tolstoy recounts to Gorky as possessing 
the last traces of the history of its lost people 
in its sickled tongue. And how long did it take the Attsur
scholar after he took the bird home, fed it dates 
and schnitzel from his own lips, to translate 
the precious words for “mama” and “wine,” 
“kitty” and “bye-bye,” and when the rapture comes again 
tomorrow and we finally vanish as predicted 
what bird will speak for us if not our monkish 
parakeet souring in the oak above us 
like a cheap piece of pie 
that calls out “hungry, hungry, hungry”? 

Found In Volume 41, No. 02
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  • tomas 005
Tomás Q. Morín
About the Author

Tomás Q. Morín's newest book of poems is Machete (Penguin/Random House, 2021). He is also the author of Patient Zero and A Larger Country (winner of the 2012 APR/Honickman First Book Prize).