Sex with a Passerine
by Owen Hansen
I am standing here fucking a chickadee. I don't want to be; I don't really know why I am, but snow falls and her heart beats very fast and small.
"Listen," I had said to a mammal. "I just had the most amazing moment, smoking on the porch, watching these birds."
But she wasn't interested.
"It's just not my purview," she flipped.
I wanted just to tell her; I thought she should listen.
"Maybe if you were at least fucking a chickadee, it could hold my attention," she said.
"Wouldn't that make me a pervert?"
"No. Fucking a squirrel, something with fur, or a fish, something with smell. That's a pervert. Fucking a bird is art."
"What about ancient China and the geese? What about the Romans?"
But her hard ankles, the smooth legs, the springy greasy lapping furry smell had left the room.
"Songbirds," she called. "Not big gross ones."
Doves make crop milk and the crops won't be sexy even if the crop is a muscular organ. Milk for baby birds, but there's no fur and I can't get off. I just want to be happy for the babies, to be happy and relax and have something good to eat and be kind and feel clean. Yet, I am standing here fucking a chickadee, which consents, an artist.
Having sex with her later, when I'd shown her a sticky bit of down and she'd let me in and I was watching ephemerals bloom on the back of her neck, I thought, "The chickadee was a much better lay." I thought it, so I said it. Now she won't leave me alone, calling and stopping by.
"Why won't you listen?"
I ran upstairs to my bedroom and threw an old dusty pine cone at her.
"I just want to talk about art. Your art," she said.
I set down the splintery white-tail skull I had aimed at her breasts.
"Oh, it's O.K. then. Fucking you isn't art."
A little rotten snow left on the ground, she stepped in.
"I'm not an artist," I laughed. "I'm a bird watcher and I'm busy making love."
And already she wasn't listening.
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