My friend the flamingo ruffles his feathers every day. He counts them and puts them in order. Then he gears up to face the music.


Strutting around has taken its toll. He appears older than he is. His feathers have lost their pearly shine. I can no longer bear to look at him. One last time I try to brush my neck against his. I feel him close his eyes in our embrace. This time he lets go first. His heart beats too fast so I take a step back. He avoids my gaze and I quackingly strut away, beak held high. Ruffling my feathers furiously.


I am not used to this silence between us. We have had an oddly shaped sort of regime going on for so long I can't remember what without this beak felt like.


My friend the flamingo moves away from me. His steps are chosen carefully yet he is gradually sinking into the ground. I look down at my reflection in the water: A patch of pink is missing from the left side of my chest. Feathers float like rose petals. I want to call after him, warn him, touch my fluffy neck to his stubble again. But my croak gets stuck in my throat.


Worried I might drown myself I spread my wings, flap them awkwardly and take flight. Never have I felt this heavy, my left shoulder makes a snapping sound. I can barely stay airborne. Not sure where I am headed.


Against common misconception flamingo tears are not pink. They are red.


Wishing you a loving -

the other flamingo