Bouboulina's Parrot

After Kazantzakis

What can you do with Bouboulina’s parrot
but give it away to the last mad monk,
the one who taught a blackbird how to whistle
the Kyrie Eleison? That garish parrot,
risen from a smudged life, can only say
old lovers’ names, so yes, give it away
even if it is everything you have,
and write to the good friend of the green stone,
the last great thing you’ve seen with your own eyes:
Come see, come see the most wonderful stone.
Give it away. Give everything away.
Let others hear of Bouboulina’s love
and feel her absence underneath the sheets
of every bed, hollow as repeated names.

c. 2004 by David Mason, first published in Atlanta Review