this is if only [dot] org

outside the rainforest cafe, that triumph of shallow consumerist artifice: two blue and yellow macaws, one playful, spiral-sliding from the top of its perch, the other withdrawn and contemplative amid the mall’s roar. we tilted our heads to one another, in that timeless parrot’s gesture of acknowledgement. behind me, as I left, someone asked: “are those real?” I imagined the birds posing the same question.