I peckz the liver and I eatz the liver. Everyday the same old liver, peckz the liver and eatz the liver, flying through a thick smoggy soup, peckz it and eatz it and I go on with the bloody iron tissue in my lickel vulture belly. I dunno what this bloke did but he has got it rough, cuz I gotz the sharpest beak of all the vuls here, and whenever we gather we compare and whenever we compare I win and whenever I win they all getz jealous and say “hey, buddy, why don’t you get outta here and do some work, then maybe your beak will blunten” but they don’t know what kinda work I do and I don’t tell em so I raise my sharp-as-a-lightning-bolt beak and snoot snoot away, feeling good but also bad. I peckz the liver sadly thinking about my friends. Maybe they just don’t like old liver-pecking vullies.


He comes again as the obsidian sun rises, shining negatively, as though it were a lump of coal on the sky’s barbecue. That feathered demon, his beak lithe and pointed at its rounded peak, diving deep into my entrails, newly-formed, devouring parts of me that, living, I did not feel. But now I feel it. Every sinew is exposed, every delicate organ-piece feels as sensitive as an eyeball, or glans, or the inner-cheek. His body is large and cumbersome, yet gracefully does he sit on my chest, his plummaged arse in my face, and feasts to his contentment on my squidgy offal. The pain rips through my legs and chest like a steam train using my nervous system as its rickety old tracks, the rusty wheels screeching over my sensitive bits in a nails-down-the-blackboard kind of pain. What did I do? It was rape or theft. I don’t remember.


So I resolvez to tell my friends what I’z been up to all this time. I come home after work, flying above the fields of wretched men, being punished for their mortal naughties, and I seez the friends and family all gathered together. So I say “Guess where Iz been!” And they turn their backs. I’m not wanted, so I goz.


He comes back and I groan with whatever breath is left in me. My muscles tense with fullness, prepared to be stripped and gnawed. If I could reconcile myself with my sin, perhaps the pain would be sweeter, the kind of saccharine tang of penitence. But I don’t remember what I did.


What to do, what to do? Cast out, I iz, let go, I am, without mates or mates. What use is a lonely vulture. Not occupied by his biological urge to eatz. Just occupied by loneliness.


Another day, another liver. More time to reflect, but I’ve stopped reflecting. If I looked in a pool of water, if I could, no-one would look back. I am a vessel of punishment.

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