OF THE ABSENCE // OF THE CARRIER PIGEONS

from The Correspondences Of The Maker of Pies & The Maker of Maps:

OF THE ABSENCE // OF THE CARRIER PIGEONS

in April, in The Blank Year

Mapmaker,

let us try, then, to do things this way

i believe someone was negligent during the selection of the carrier pigeons, see, the quality of the carrier pigeons is lopsided; your carrier pigeon is vastly superior, as evinced by the elongated baroque flourish of each ventral wing’s furthermost feather, being rather like some lacey underwater tendril, pink and responsive as a restless woman, and adding a good thirteen inches to the wingspan — and you mustn’t try to deny this, i have seen it with my own eyes, and i measured the bird with my own hands and examined it thoroughly before you left; and so, this elongated feather, lending, in addition to an unusual and charming aesthetic quality probably not without purpose, as, perhaps, a lavish decoration positing the bird’s explosive virility, seems to indicate that your carrier pigeon flies with greater ease and speed than mine, and, in fact, i would say that the protrusive knobbiness of my bird’s knees, its mildly jaundiced coloring, and its propensity for muffling little coughs and sneezes during the night when it thinks i am sleeping and cannot hear, leads me to believe that this particular carrier pigeon, that is, my carrier pigeon, is made of less than average stuff; my carrier pigeon, is, in a word, unsatisfactory, while yours is positively topnotch and

i lodge my grievance only because this carrier pigeon discrepancy factor may delay my responses, and i may have thought better and more cogent thoughts with the additional time my bird takes to arrive at your chimney’s flute; your responses, on the other hand, may arrive at the pie door earlier than you have thought them, and this is problematic for everyone and

in other news, i am at a loss; what am i to tell them when they come asking with their fat red mouths parted to the question

RE: OF THE ABSENCE // OF THE CARRIER PIGEONS

in June, in The Blank Year

Piemaker,

the carrier pigeons came in their respective boxes with their respective papers. i assembled them according to instructions. if your carrier pigeon is ill feed him meals of white corn twice daily. i don’t know what else to say about it.

[tell them i am taking important strides. tell them i am dead. tell them what you like.]

things are different here. i sing to myself and my voice drowns in the surface of the sand. there is so much sand. the sand is riddled with clods of hair and scalp. dried blood clumps and gathers eyelashes a thousand at a time. i found a brick of teeth which the wind had worn smooth. miles from here i found a net or a lattice glittering red. i bent to pull at it and it swelled to bleed in all directions. a sharp sound needled my forehead and i grew faint.  i have not returned.

[a forest encroaches to the south. i have high hopes for it. i will have thirty-six hours to document the forest before it passes.]

the slice of pomegranate pie that you sent with your last message was eaten to the crust in transit. the culprit managed to cough up a single seed before collapsing in the exhausted bliss of satiety. your carrier pigeon is hungry. you must feed your carrier pigeon meals of white corn twice daily.

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