You push in the door. You are in the diner. No one is here. No human is here. Abandoned plates on abandoned tables.
You see spiders. There are wolf spiders dancing on the scrambled eggs. There are tarantulas dancing on the poached eggs and dancing on the Sunny-Side-Up Eggs. A Mexican red-kneed spider is dancing on the tubes of sausages. A black widow spider is dancing on the pancakes drowning in a lagoon of syrup.
You hear a noise coming from the kitchen. You hear a shock gobble, a loud cutting turkey call.
You see the vivid red head and yellow wattles of a Brush turkey, funny megapode, popping up its head.
(A megapode is a large-footed, terrestrial bird.)
Then the turkey’s head disappears.
You see another turkey, pecking at a meal of scrambled eggs and bacon on the diner floor. Now, he struts. His wing feathers barred in black and white, his bright red-and-blue head sunk into the massive fans of his plumage, the turkey struts. His feathers have a greenish sheen in the fluorescence.
There are turkeys everywhere. Everywhere there are turkeys.
Them turkeys, they happy turkeys.
You throw your arms around the gallinaceous birds and embrace them lovingly.
(Gallinaceous refers to the Galliformes, ground-feeding birds with big bodies.)
They are warm; their ruffles caress you.
The male turkeys, the toms, are fanning their tail feathers, dragging their wings, strutting beneath the penis-shaped lights, puffing up their feathers and puffing out their breasts. Excited by the display of male beauty, the hens are purring and yelping.
Gobblers are gobbling up the pies and the pastries. They have learned to peck open—to shatter—the glass display case, using their beaks as blunt instruments. Their brown-black feathers shimmer with an iridescent glimmer. Their bluish bald heads dart back and forth, their heads covered in fleshy red excrescences. Fleshy flaps of skin droop down their necks, orange-red dewlaps.
(A dewlap is the loose skin around the turkey’s neck.)
Orange-red finger-shaped snoods impend over their beaks.
(A snood is the fleshy appendage above the turkey’s beak.)
Their dewlaps and snoods tremble, trembling fleshy tremblers. Beards of rough hair protrude from the turkeys’ breasts.
The wild turkeys waddle, shaking their red-and-blue wattles. Their beards of feathers bristle, their rainbow tufts rustling in the air conditioning.
You float out of the diner.
Black shadows of turkeys are roosting in the black feathery street-trees.
Something sweeps out of the trees, and you feel the swoosh of wings.
A fluffy white chicken flies into your chest. You cradle the chicken in your arms. You embrace the chicken. You caress the ethereal chicken. The chicken coos and moos. You release the chicken. The chicken flies into the tree and finds its roost there. Happy chicken.
Cackling chickens are wobbling around, darting their heads unpredictably. The chickens are waddling across Clark Street. A tiny chicken is coming where you walk. You crouch down. You pet the dirty white feathers of the chicken. You straighten your back. The chicken grooms itself, preens itself, as if for your optical delectation. You smile at the chicken.
A motherless baby carriage stands alone in the middle of the street. The turkeys, fanning their tails as if they were so many parasols, lurch toward the baby carriage, surrounding the baby carriage like so many protective mothers. They umbrella the baby carriage with their rainbow parasols. They circumambulate the perambulating perambulator.
(A perambulator is a baby carriage.)
You look into the window of the hardware store. Clucking hens launch themselves down the aisles.
The toms defecate on the shiny black rifles, which are now smeared with the grease of turkey faeces. The survivalists are eying the chickens and the turkeys.
You drift past the clothing store. Looking at the mannequins in the display window, you sidestep a gaggle of geese.
Springing chickens wave their dirty white wings.
You look up at the sky. Like jets of mango shampoo squeezed out on to the sky’s linoleum, streaks of orange are streaming through the clouds.
Copyright 2014 by Joseph Suglia