Jesse Jarnow

dead bird, no. 3

(Being an attempt to write short fiction in even shorter increments…)

dead bird, no. 1, no. 2, no. 3, no. 4, no. 5, no. 6, no. 7, no. 8, no. 9, no. 10, no. 11

I’d already been in the city many years. She’d not visited. When she arrived, still smelling of smoke, she walked around my cramped living room. We’d hugged, of course, and probably made one or two inconsequential remarks, but she got right to it. All with her eyes, she examined the magazines on the table (National Geographic, Newsweek), the plants hanging by the window (unwatered and dying), the contents of the trashcan by the television (a few receipts, maybe; I never remembered it was there).

In the next weeks, the room changed shape, meeting her will. The couch, now opened to a bed, was pushed permanently to the wall. Aside from her duffle bag, she brought no objects into the space. At the end of it, it felt right and natural, my arrangement only a temporary diversion from whatever the truth was, whatever I was escaping by moving to the city to begin with. It felt like the room we’d shared as children.


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