I saw your birds, black arrows on the long lines, making a racket
in the lot until they startled at something and flew, turned the sky to night.
The other things I didn’t say could fill
a pitcher the size of my heart,
all those letters like tiny black birds, silhouettes in empty space.
The other things have lifted away. In their place: a one-word note
tucked under your windshield wiper in the garage,
borrowed hours in a white room where hope
waits in a little wicker casket
while night falls: a rock, a body, a great height.
You bring me the fallen bird in a paper bag, lift it out with both hands,
its pointed skeleton whole and unbroken, tiny hollow ribs, heart missing, flown.
Kate Schmitt’s book, Singing Bones won the Zone 3 Press Nonfiction Prize and was published in 2014. Her writing and visual work has appeared most recently in Essay Daily, Third Coast, The Florida Review, Driftwood Press, and The Rumpus. She teaches at Florida Atlantic University.