On the first day there was blue. Fat strokes of azure glistening. On the second day I added gummy streaks of yellow light. On the third day I applied sweeps of tawny branches—snaking and wily—let the blue breath through. Then I gave the sky red wings, and the round plush of body. And I gave the feathers teal echoes of flight, as though it were gift.
It was gift.
And when I was done giving, I sat on my porch swing to rest. I bent my legs and lunged myself in quiet swinging, closed my eyes, imagined I was the birds I gave the sky. I was the birds. But I was also the sky.
And when my world had dried, I hung it on my living room wall with one slim nail.
In the morning—I'd lost track of the number of days and mornings—but it was morning when the thumping came—in waves. The dull thwack of bird after bird, body after body against the sliding glass doors. Floods of cardinals and chickadees and shrikes stumbled on my porch in dizzy dying.
The birds had wanted through the glass. Through the glass they had seen my whole world, and had gone deadly-diving for my blue.
I knelt beside the dead birds, thumbed their rigor mortis. I peeled them apart and snapped off their thin, toothpick ribs.
I used them.
I used the bones to build new ones—gave them feathers and the surge of blood as blue as the sea. My hands dripped with blue. Blue smeared across my forearms, my face. In my eyes. I was as blue as the birds I gave the blue of my world. I was the birds. But I was also the sky.
I lifted my arms in flight. I sent feathered bodies spinning through my blue and blue and blue.
I waited for their singing. I sat and rested on my porch but I didn't swing.
I waited for their streak of flight and fallow, for the warm and plume in blue.
earned her BA in Creative Writing from Western Washington University, and is currently pursuing an MFA at George Mason University. She is the Fiction Editor for Sweet Tree Review
and the incoming Assistant Poetry Editor for So to Speak
. Her writing can be found or is forthcoming in journals such as The Bellevue Literary Review, Rust + Moth, Ghost Parachute
and Bop Dead City