After the second bottle of wine.
Madeline and Carter own a furless cat with supernatural eyes and two birds. After the second bottle of wine, one of the birds is released. It’s an astonishing explosion of green plumage and she sits on Carter’s shoulder. Looking coy and flirtatious, animated like a person, she tilts her head this way and that. This bird, this speaking bird, echoes their daily routines. When Madeline stretches, the bird sighs with her, and when Carter clears his throat, the bird does the same. I am given some bread to feed it and when I do so the bird puffs out her feathers and flaps her wings, blowing out two candles that had been sitting on he table in the process, the scent of smoke and wax now exhaling across the room, and the moment hangs expectant, like somebody had just made a birthday wish.