Was it my mother who taught me about winged-things? There was the dead gold finch on a plate in the freezer waiting to be painted, a still life. There were the faux Matisse Cut-Outs she made with our cereal boxes to hang on the Christmas tree. There was the half inch origami crane she wept over. And then the stuffed dove she made out of a pair of my grandmother’s elbow-high, white, leather gloves. Yes, my mother made it true, there is no greater state to be in than that of a winged-thing.

It's a mad kind of love. One that robs your body. I bury three birds without their wings. It does not get easier. Each a thundering silence louder than before. Who am I to try and preserve your flight. But I can't stop. I cover the birds with dry desert soil. Are they even birds anymore?