Elizabeth Clark Wessel

A Woman and a Bird

A woman exits her home, takes eleven steps, and nearly crushes the head of a bird trapped between two iron cellar doors. The woman is afraid to touch the bird, but moved by its terror and its fate. She tries to jiggle open the padlocked doors, but is unsuccessful. She flags down a deliveryman. They speak in pantomime about how to save the bird. He uses his bike lock to pry up the door, and when he does the bird falls into the space below. The bird is now a lost cause. The deliveryman leaves to make his deliveries, and the woman gets in her car and drives to the beach, where the city is—at last—behind her, and what is in front is blue, immense.

Elizabeth Clark Wessel is a founding editor of Argos Books & co-editor of Circumference: Poetry in Translation. She is the author of three chapbooks Whither Weather (GreenTower Press, 2012), Isn't that You Waving at You (Big Lucks Books, 2015), and Amsterdam (Dancing Girl Press, 2015). Her full-length collection Two Suns will be published by The Lit Pub in late 2015. She lives in a farmhouse in Connecticut and translates Swedish novels for a living.

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