Plucked and Scrambled by Paula Ray

The morning after, he’s knocking my bird-nest head against the headboard before I can scrape the egg-whites from my eyelids.

“Tell me,“ he grunts. “Say it."

I watch his purple onion face shed a layer of want, but it’s the thinnest layer, a fragment from the wings I wore yesterday.

Yesterday, when he was away, I flitted from leaf to leaf looking for the yawning tree, the opened mouth I could crawl into, a place where I could clean myself in shadow. I didn't find it. So, I won’t be able to get the smell of him off my hands for days, because I can't say what he wants to hear. Now, those wings are no more use to me than the yolk soaking my pillow.


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