Avian Love Story

I walked across the restaurant on the edge of the
cliff, stopped at your table and looked down. Sand stuck to my skin
and I saw you. You were an albino condor and had
such tiny pink scared eyes, perfectly-coifed hair. Look at the
way my lips form your name. Look at me. You reached out and ripped
my skin with your beak, wings reaching up to me and

out to me. I kissed you back, brushed the sand from your face, the
tears from my eyes. We unfolded our arms and legs from sin
and prepared to dance. But the music was so bad, so sad
not even we could dance, the oboes stuck on some lost dream of
1954, the violins on the massacre of 1936.
I threw wine in your face and blinded you, the perfect end

to an imperfect night. Crematory ash stuck to the
wet corners of your eyes, cartoon feathers and smoke and dead skin
falling to the dark bottom of a miles-deep crevasse, head
first, hair uncoiling like a blond flag signaling lost love.
I waited until I felt your impact through my land-sick
feet, then put my half of the bill on the edge of the cliff.

—Holly Day, Minneapolis, MN