I am sad.
As I entered my car one afternoon, I heard a fleshy thud. In the corner of my eye, I saw what I thought was a leafy branch tumble to the ground behind me, joining the overripe mangoes that littered the driveway. Then it moved. After writhing and flopping in eerie silence for a few seconds, the green pile stopped moving and lay still. My curiosity piqued, I left my car and walked to the fallen object.
It was a parakeet, fully intact without obvious wounds or injuries. I was struck by how shockingly beautiful and unblemished the parakeet appeared. It was also very dead.
For reasons that still bewilder me, a powerful wave of emotion swept over me. I was overcome by sadness and anger. I struggled to contain tears.
Maybe it was how the bird seemed perfectly framed amongst the fallen mangoes, like a tropical Renaissance painting. Maybe I was guilty that my five-story apartment building was the likely cause of the bird’s death. Maybe I was suffering a rare male version of PMS. I don’t really know!
But to me, the flawless body lying dead at my feet seemed a metaphor for everything wrong with the world. Sometimes, it feels that everything innocent and pure on earth is pillaged and destroyed Coral reefs are bleached due to careless water pollution. Children are raped by their relatives. Animals are driven to extinction by human greed. Young soldiers are forced to fight in foreign wars they do not support. An overwhelming list of the world’s ills felt encapsulated by the emerald corpse in my driveway.
At that moment, I was inspired to write poetry. I envisioned crafting language so intricate, so precise that it would communicate how I truly felt. I would write something with the power to make others mourn for the parakeet. And the world it had left behind.
I then deposited the dead bird in the trash bin unceremoniously. And wrote a blog post instead.