This morning I had a marvelous breakfast while standing at the sink: one cold taco and a nectarine. The tortilla was stiff and the nectarine was juicy. Outside, the birds feeding on the ground looked up at me with envy. Disgruntled with their seeds and twigs, they seemed to be planning a revolution � the sparrows aligned beneath a decaying bench, the jays squawking orders, the robins ignoring them in favor of a plan of their own, the starlings probing the lawn like demented scouts.

I washed my hands and wondered what it meant. Nothing, apparently, because one of the neighborhood cats suddenly appeared at the top of the fence and the birds scattered in all directions. And so I wondered what that meant. The cat leapt down and sniffed the ground. Instant boredom. In memory of his dish of fish-flavored kibbles back home, the great hunter licked his paw, unimpressed by the racket in the pine tree above.

In the absence of further action, I had a great idea. What if the roles were reversed? What if two or three dozen pampered city cats were in the backyard sniffing their bowls and licking their paws, and a menacing bird landed on the fence � a vulture, say, or an eagle? The cats would surely want to hide. Or what if the area were crowded with people pecking on the ground, squabbling over the last few seeds a bored house cat had scattered before she took her kittens to soccer practice in her brand new tuna-scented mini-van?

Bird houses inhabited by cats. Vultures pushing strollers along the sidewalk. People lined up on a fence. These things could happen � and yet some sinister force seems to keep them from happening, except in the imagination, where it is afraid to tread. And because it is afraid, the same force insists that the everyday orderly realm is real, and the world of the imagination isn�t. If the two were combined, the force could no longer maintain control.

Hmm. In a way, it sounds like our current political situation � you know, the one that�s been going on for the last several thousand years.

Oh, well. I wonder if there are any tacos left?

Also by William Michaelian

Winter Poems

ISBN: 978-0-9796599-0-4
52 pages. Paper.
Another Song I Know
ISBN: 978-0-9796599-1-1
80 pages. Paper.
Cosmopsis Books
San Francisco

Signed copies available

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