On a hot beach, a young man holds

in one hand an ice cold can of soda,

unopened, and in the other hand the tiny

aluminum tab he managed to pop clean off.

Feeling dizzily incapable of doing

even the simplest thing right, the thirsty young

man closes his eyes and envisions a painting

happening magically on a canvas:

He dips his brush into a dish

of cherry red paint, carefully places

a single dab in the page’s center,

and behold, spreading outward like a

stain, a portly brown rooster  

wearing a downswept cape of copper

feathers, with a broad spray of feathers arcing

proudly from his tail, chocolate, amber,

orchre, burgundy, auburn feathers bulging

like puffed jodhpurs on his thighs,

his red comb folded over, his red

wattles dangling like two wrinkly

tongues from his chin, and from

within a miniature mask of

dimpled red flesh his yellow eye

staring back at the thirsty young man

with that serious look of roosters,

such stupidity and vibrancy and alarm,

with a faint smudge of distrust.

◄ Franceska

Mountain Lake Park ►


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