A PAIR OF PARROTS COME IN FOR SURGERY

not subtlety, and at sundown begin moaning.
The veterinarians act more veterinarianly. It
must be internal damage. It must be the liver
rupturing. Yes, the liver. And that is how these
prognoses tend. Diagnosis being somewhat
like a supposition. The vet techs flicking the
wrists of their gloves in order to pass the time.
The parrots squawking: deeper. Deeper. Oh,
yes.
The veterinarians blushing mid-incision,
slashing the liver with a scalpel until it exudes.
The parrots yowling: You have to stop when I
tell you to stop. You
never listen when I tell
you it hurts. Honey,
come on. It won’t happen
again. Honey, I
cannot believe you right now.

Ian Cappelli (he, him) is the author of the chapbook Suburban Hermeneutics from Cathexis Northwest Press and is an MFA candidate at George Mason University. His work’s been twice nominated for the Pushcart and Best of the Net; recently appeared (or is forthcoming) in Roanoke Review, Oakland Review, and Paintbucket, among others; and is included in Eyewear Publishing’s The Best New British and Irish Poets 2019-2020 anthology.