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February 26, 2021

The Peacocks

Karthik Sethuraman

Peacocks are just peacocks, and dead peacocks are just dead though
the word just can do a lot of work. I say can to leave room for when
things go wrong. They did, and the peacocks are dead. I want to blame
the boys who hopped the fence, and I want to blame the boys who
built the fence, but a fence is just a fence — like when my father
left for this country, he waved through a fence, and my father is just
my father, a father who wasn’t fit for the Atlantic winters like the peacocks
weren’t fit for the Atlantic winters, and none of them died from the cold.
This is simple, but they died from what killed them. My father says
it wasn’t the boys who hopped the fence or the boys who built the fence
or even the boys who loaded them into the crates and shipped them
over the water when they, like my father, couldn’t swim. He says
none of them drowned and even if they had, it wouldn’t have made
a difference. My father knows how to kill a thing. He says he will
finally die when he can no longer go back to where he comes from.