I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings was written by Maya Angelou, a very talented woman.

"Maia" is pronounced like "Maya".

Sorry, Bronze—no verisimilitude here.


I

Georgie died yesterday.

Which is odd, since he's still breathing.

But there's a hollowness in his soul, now

A breakdown deep inside him,

An emptiness where surety and certainty used to reside.

He stands and he talks and his heart beats—

But she's gone and all he can do is mourn.

II

Georgie died yesterday.

Maia, with her ebon hair and jade green eyes,

Maia, with her porcelain skin and perfect voice,

Maia who angels could not compare—

Maia, who completed him and now has abandoned him.

He's dead and she's gone and he still breathes,

But inside he's stone, a pebble that was once part of an avalanche,

An emotionless shell—

Because he died when her heart failed.

III

Georgie stands beside the bed,

The comforter still pushed to foot,

The pillows still splayed out for her comfort.

Georgie looks at the blankets and the clothes littering the floor.

Georgie puts a hand to his lips and holds in a sob—

Maia has finally left him, gone home to the angels,

And won't be back by nine.

IV

Georgie sits in the den—a bright, cheery blue,

her favorite—with her favorite book,

I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, reading,

Trying to connect with her, trying to learn about her.

Her favorite parts are highlighted or underlined

And he reads those bits aloud.

He died yesterday and the funeral is tomorrow,

But he's finally realized that today is all he has.

V

The walls don't talk but he wishes they did,

Because Georgie knows they'd speak of her.

They'd tell of the days before him, when she had Bill,

And the woman she once was, the woman

Who was so kind she made more than one newspaper.

Maia, with a pain in her past she never told him of,

Maia, with beauty and passion and grace and her sweet, sweet eyes,

Maia he'd been addicted to, unable to get enough;

He tells the room he would never have let go.

But she's gone and left all the same.

VI

Georgie wanders the halls, unable to take his eyes off her pictures—

Maia with her tresses down and up, Maia in green and blue,

Maia at parties and functions and on TV—

Maia and Maia and Maia—and Bill,

every now and then, because she threw nothing away.

Georgie didn't mind the photos of Bill;

They were few and far between, and Maia looked so beautiful in every one.

He stopped in front of her graduation picture—

She looked so young, so innocent, so poised—

She rivaled the sun with her brilliance,

Arm around Bill—who she'd known since grade school—

Who knew her better than Georgie ever could—

Who Georgie had never been jealous of, honest,

And who Georgie hated more than any in the world.

Bill who Maia had never forgotten, who hadn't held her as she died.

Georgie looks at Maia's graduation picture, with Bill and big ole smiles,

And feels ice clamp a little harder around his empty heart.

VII

Georgie died yesterday.

Maia died with him, but she'll be the only one placed beneath the dirt.

Bill died, too, Georgie bets, or maybe he died long ago.

Georgie never was good at math, but he thinks three is one too much.

And Maia should have loved him, since he never left,

Since he never abandoned her for a pipe dream in a far away land,

Never rode into the sunset—

Georgie stayed through the pain and illness and Maia's rare tantrums,

Where she cursed and slapped and stormed—

So rare, so brutal, so unlike her, not the kind, sweet woman—

But he stayed, didn't he, Georgie stayed—

And she'd whispered Bill's name as she died.

VIII

Georgie died yesterday.

And Bill called today, called to talk to Maia.

Georgie said, "The funeral's Friday," and hung up,

Laughter bubbling in his throat, a hysterical laughter that doubled him over,

And the phone rang again, Bill demanding answers,

Him on the hysterical side, too.

Georgie felt empathy for him, but he'd hated the poor bastard for so long

His answers were clipped and cold.

He gave bare details and felt scorn as the tears made themselves plain across the line.

"I love her," Bill said softly and Georgie's hand tightened on the phone.

"Then why'd you leave?" he demanded.

"Because she chose you," Bill responded and Georgie died a little bit more.

IX

And Georgie didn't tell Bill Maia'd said his name.

Didn't speak of the notebooks he found, filled with letters to Bill.

Didn't speak of the rants, few and far between, about Bill and how she loved him still.

Bill can say till the end of time that Maia chose Georgie,

But standing in the hall looking at her in her graduation gown,

Smile wider than the Mississippi with her arm around Bill,

Eyes shining, love clearer than the sun,

Scorching the air between them,

Georgie knows Maia chose Bill long before she ever met him.

X

But Georgie never told Bill that,

Never contemplated returning the pictures,

Sharing the notebooks, the sketches, the clothes he found stuffed in the back of the closet—

Georgie died with Maia, and now he's bitterly pissed

Because she had him and he never had her.

So he'll keep her secrets and dream of her

And won't tell anyone of these bouts of necrophilia.

Fin

Because, after all, the dead tell no tales.