Renewable by Anthony Cordello


According to the Country Birds calendar, I had been living in the kitchen for one hundred and twenty two days. From August’s orange feathers to December and its oddly human eyes. Just enough time to grow a beard I could tuck into my shirt collar. Just enough time to deplete the inventory.

For breakfast I sprinkled the last of the cheese on the last milk stout. Seven grams of protein, three grams of carbohydrates, altogether a little over one hundred calories. All I needed forming an island in my mug. For lunch I had leftovers combed out of my mustache. Dinner was a hurdle as I had to make a meal out of two and a half packs of sweetener and a bottle of pomegranate and mango hand soap. I did even bother calculating calories.

That night I slept for three, four hours on the ceramic tile with cupcake oven mitts for pillows. I brushed my teeth with turmeric and glimpsed out the filtered window at the subdued sun, the crushed hills, my own glazed eye reflected back at me. I cut up my knuckles trying to reach a grape under the oven. I cut the Country Birds out in wings and thighs, every one except December.

Anthony Cordello has work in decomP, Jersey Devil Press, Jellyfish Review, Apocrypha and Abstractions, and the Airgonaut. He has a MFA from Fairfield University.

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