Winter 2007 vol 5.1
The Toucan
James Grinwis
Probably the best toucan in town landed last night. I was walking around the city, stopping in places for a drink. I had been drinking for a long time, alternating the days between drinks in quest for gainful employment and the occasional long distance run. The toucan alighted on a rubber awning the way wild things who feel invincible alight, silently and without apparent concern. The sun glanced off its huge beak as it ignored me. San Francisco, circa 1994. The unusual ways people come and go had been occupying my mind; how those who have meant much to you or will mean much may have all, at one point or another, stepped on the exact same patch of cement on some crosswalk. I considered the toucan in the poetical mannerism of the word, and it yawned open its beak, revealing a long and hairy tongue. A swarm of flies had somehow gotten stuck all over the pinkish hairs, some of them still buzzing in fizzling death throes. My failed screenplay about the seductive hair stylist/ murderess seemed to rise to haunt me once again with the hugeness of its futile effort. The denizens of my sickly bones were sick in turn, though the toucan crashed upwards in fiery, geeky splendor, white gum wrappers flying off its legs to land like a sodden heap in my heart.