Academic journal article The Virginia Quarterly Review

The New Austerity

Academic journal article The Virginia Quarterly Review

The New Austerity

Article excerpt

THE NEW AUSTERITY

Heart is lonely so he buys a bird.

He lugs the bird all over in a silver cage.

In the morning, its feathers are orange,

in the evening aquamarine. He tells the bird

his life story, but when the bird stops singing,

Heart decides it's unhappy. He worries a bit,

then buys a cat to which he also tells his story.

At first the cat is cheerful, then it stops purring.

Heart thinks it's unhappy as well so he gets a dog

nothing unique, just a mutt from the vet.

When Heart tells the dog his life story, the dog

falls asleep. It's more interested in the bird, which

feels drawn to the cat, which admires the dog.

Heart is pushed to the periphery of the relationship.

When he tries to speak, the others shush him. …

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