Crowley and Cel

Crowley catches chickens. Their webbed feet drag stereo wires and plastic bags, dinosaur eyes never see him till it’s too late. He’s that good. In a minute-ten he’s got them plucked and washed in a rain bucket, beak jibber-jabbering as he takes them to Cel. Cel welds pieces of the world together, disparate pieces who might never otherwise meet. Crowley always brings a chicken and a piece: another thing for Cel to work on. In the evening they dip into their pond, trash bags as floaties, mounds of things people left behind all around them. All sorts of things can be left behind.

They sprout potatoes in milk jugs, only eat the ones whose root systems find a way out. Only the strongest for Crowley and Cel. They live in an old pickup, though what it once picked up no one knows. Once a cycle, when the moon’s full, Cel will bring it to life so they can hear the songs from the world outside, the ones sung for no one.

In the pickup, at night, their arms will graze like branches in the breeze. Cel will wake to see it’s only Crowley, scoot away in the cab, adjust the coat that is his blanket. The feathers Crowley plucks go into the jacket, into the bags that are their pillows. The feathers always find their way out, turning their pickup into a metal chicken.

Cel makes skirts of cardboard, headdresses of plastic cut to streamers, and they dance around the fire, singing songs they’ve made. When the fire dies, they paint their faces with the ash, still warm. They swirl clouds onto their cheeks, eddies down their necks. Crowley prints his hands on Cel’s chest. Her eyes carry light away.

She erases her face with pond water. When her face is gone, Crowley can see who she really is. Together they erase their arms, legs, eyes. The chickens gauge their progress, pecking at nothing. Crowley and Cel become the water in the pond, the sunlight that warms it. They disappear.



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