I have forgotten why I gave you
a parakeet for your birthday.
And I have never understood
why you named it Jay Okada.
Whenever you spoke to the bird
(‘Good morning, Jay Okada’; ‘Hello, Jay Okada’),
I felt a brief jolt of excitement, followed
by a longer interval of melancholy.
Now that you’ve moved to Saskatoon
and married a successful bank manager,
please tell me if these were the feelings
you intended me to feel many years ago
when you gave the parakeet my name:
momentary excitement and
P.S. I am still living in the same apartment,
as you can see from the return address
on this envelope. Unfortunately, Jay Okada
died a couple of years ago. After you left,
one of us stayed drunk for two months and
the other began to chew himself nervously.
Anyway, I cried last night (and this morning)
thinking about your short-lived birthday gift,
Jay Okada, and I realized you should know
what happened to him. Now you know.
P.P.S. I am doing well.
Published On: February 14, 2008
Permanent Location: http://www.forgetmagazine.com/080214j.htm