top of page

A little bird's beak

The unspoken word lingers -

an unseen domicile of intrusive dust

everywhere in this little house.

Under the cushions

that are decked with embroidery

on a velvety richness;

a little dead bird’s beak

lies bloody.


Dare you ask why?

Don’t look!

Avert your eyes.

If you want to look,

see only the plush roundness,

the soft texture,

the calming beige walls,

and carefully strewn miniatures and rocks

of precise opulence.


The spoken word

sprawls undead on the glass table top,

embellishing it in a brilliant glimmer,

always asking you:

“Am I not beautiful and shiny,

Am I not one to adore?

Am I not unbroken and whole

Doesn’t my beauty make your heart soar?”

Juvenile idiocy.

But you must affirm -

lest it starves

into the matte

that can turn foggy in a split.


Also,

don’t change your seat,

lest the perceptible shift

kill the glimmer

without even leaving a body.


"Why did you kill the glimmer?"

They’ll ask,

knowing that even their

blinding lights

could never reach there.


In food too

there’s a stench.

The fifteen seconds

it takes to swing across your palate

coating all of you

are just enough for you to hold back the

vomit -

your body’s way of saying

"I can't keep it in any longer"

till you’re chewing

without knowing

if you chew on bile,

edible sewage,

lies, manipulation,

disgust,

overcooked meat,

or just what others call

“satisfying food”.


You’re still thinking

- Who’d break a bird’s beak?

- Where is the rest of the bird?


For this answer,

you’ll have to break the walls

and eat a little of the hollow plaster inside.

You can hear through

its emptiness always,

can’t you?

You can hear the screeching

behind the gasps of concern.

You can hear the vehemence

behind the loud laughter.

You can hear the sadistic drawl

behind the silken words.


Eat it.

Taste the paint,

it’s where the sweet words will wash over you

as a nostalgic reminder

of all that you want to believe.

And keep eating

till your jaw chomps of its own accord

and your teeth break

into blood and bits of plaster n bones.


Have you found the bird?


No?


Ah,

Did you not know?


The beak you found

was your broken tooth

and the hungry bird

was just silenced,

never dead.


Image Courtesy: The art of rebuilding a bird's beak (L.S. Zoo)


Did you know a little bird's beak is made of the same keratin that makes our hair and nails? The skin around the beak is then akin the cuticle that holds our nails together. So technically, when birds chip their beak or break it, they barely feel any pain. It of course affects them, and sometimes threatens their survival as they cannot eat or chew well, but for the most of it - they can theoretically feel no pain when the beak is broken.

Pain has biologically been the indicator of threatened survival. If something pains, you must solve for it to ensure continuity of life. If your stomach aches, go to the doctor, get a few tests, take a few medicines. But if it doesn't pain - you ideally wouldn't dig into it. So as a bird with a broken beak, since you felt no pain, would you try to fix it to be able to survive? Or would you wait till the ineffectual eating would lead to hunger pangs and then fix whatever you could?


The prose today welcomes you to the journey of a bird and its reunion with its broken beak. Live the Sunday metaphor as you will. Happy Sunday!


[P.S. - Apologies for missing a week and much thanks to everyone of you for your kindness and love.]

24 views1 comment

Recent Posts

See All

1 Comment


Great read. I interpreted it as how one keep trying to survive in a toxic relationship. With a great analogy from nature. Very well written!

Like
bottom of page