She wore could be’s and what if’s like ornaments, the gilding of the cage; gifts given by men and lacking promise. The emptiness of such possibilities seeped around the edges of routine—they were in her solitary cup of tea in the morning, they hung in the words left blank on crossword puzzles, they sat in the stack of unused dishes. How pretty the words looked hanging in the air—suspended thoughts, the room was thick with them. They floated with the ease of bubbles on blue-sky summer days before gradually declining and collapsing. Her house was a graveyard of unspoken thoughts, crooked like question marks and mossy with time.
Cloud-cover cast a blanket over the valley; insulation, 20 degrees of it. Her breath didn’t hang in front of her in ghostly wisps of life against the chill. Her boots echoed beneath her, making hollow threats against the silence of the morning. At the cross-walk there was a dead bird—it wasn’t dead yet, but it may as well have been. It had been hit, blood slowly seeping out of some orifice, but still slightly moving. Jesus! The words escaped her lips and she felt the bite of hypocrisy in them. She thought about the kind of person it would take to kill the bird and put it out of its misery. She was not one of those people. Her heart broke with the sympathy of one who knows what it means to be grounded and she kept walking.
She had a knack for opening herself up to the wrong people. She felt as grounded as the dying yellow bird at the crosswalk; the weight of years of battlements and defenses. And it was all bullshit. All of it. She was terrified of getting hurt, but the truth was she already was. She was born broken and kept tearing at the wounds from birth. She thought often on the duality of nature and imagined an impish dolia lurking behind the guise of free-will. In her head she wrote a eulogy for flightless birds; it rose with the ease of bubbles on blue-sky summer days, before gradually declining and collapsing.