This is a story
The birds were there and not there, flickering as darkly as the forest, in and out of the wind, those quick needles sewing the day to our blood.
She said, “They are seeds on the first breath of creation.”
She said, “Maybe there is a world where chaos is distinguishable from order, but I won’t go there.”
She said, “My bones are hollow, too, and when I tumble onto the grass with my arms wide, the sky falls into me.”
Her face was shining.
It breaks my heart when I remember that this was the day before the storm.
A Dream about Birthday Cake
You were beating a baby to death with a shoe.
It took a long time. The heel of the shoe
left crescent dents on his skull and face.
“Will it hurt?” he screamed --- meaning
dying, would dying hurt, of course the beating
hurt. “No,” you said, swinging the shoe down.
“It won’t hurt,” you lied. The baby loved you.
“When I wake up, will I have a birthday cake
with one candle?” The baby squeezed this
question through tears and a broken jaw, eyes
pleading for the answer to be yes. You said yes.
James Owens lives a monkish sort of life on the southern shore of Lake Michigan. He writes a lot. When he isn't writing, he sometimes does other things. Much of his average day goes into metaphysical disquiet, which is a hobby, and into watching small things moved about by wind, such as fallen leaves, scraps of paper, or the surface of a puddle. He would welcome human contact at firstname.lastname@example.org.