Imagine, we were half bird. Our flight is fleeting, yes, but still we sometimes slipped into the sky. You are new to this world and don’t know the half of it. Even so, you show us the way. How to slay the dragons, how to turn the page. We gnaw on plastic poultry legs and rubbery bananas and you fake punch a random price into a toy cash register, hold your grubby paw out for my pocketful of coins. I wouldn’t have wished the world on you, but here you are. You have arrived, starry eyed and surprised. You have a blue-green bike and a matching bow in your hair. You love cucumbers and mangos and the frilliest pajamas. Every word is a victory and you’re starting to string them together. We were dancing in our sock feet in your toy room, stripes and polka dots a blur in your swirl. If only we had more ice cream, you say when I pull out the goodnight story. You stall for time before lights out and I guess it’s the same for all of us. Lord, just one more year, just one more day, just one more hour. But soon you are drifting through the clouds and I watch sleep soften your small face. The moon is your witness, I think, kissing you where she does on your dimple. I cover you in a thin sheet, watch your shifting shoulders, small wings dark as earth.
Lorette C. Luzajic
This first appeared in Gyroscope Review, and in the author's recent book, Winter in June (Mixed Up Media Books, 2021).
Lorette C. Luzajic is an artist, writer, and editor based in Toronto, Canada.
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