The door of the cage hangs, unclasped from the top hinge like a baby’s head moments before the water breaks.
The inside lies strewn with stray grains, some floating on the tiny water pot. The folded paper is decorated with droppings, and the perch swings, gripped by the stubbornness of inertia.
The bird, the bird that left it’s cage.
I walk by the dirt road, feeling my feet crunch the gravel, the muscles of my leg coiling, the joints folding and easing in a mechanical ease. The fields are bare, a projection on a dirty white screen. I think of your promise to me, your hand brushing mine as you tell me your story.
Every year, they send Tulips from Holland, and they are planted in a riot of colours. You promised me, you’ll take me there, a ghost hidden in your smart phone. The next time you pass by, you’ll capture the purples, oranges and whites for me.
My lonely heart beats bravely, even when the heaviness settles inside, the sludge at the bottom of the can. My hair falls in a cloud along my back, I discovered a pimple just above my clavicle. And I turned to find an identical red spot on the blade of my shoulder, like someone had pushed a red stick inside my heart, the edges peeking like toes under a petticoat.
When I need to get home, you’re my guiding light.
I think of your hair, standing in defiant tufts of electric blue, the sides shorn off in a Swedish cut fit for your age. The dirty gold curls lie in some parlours dustbin, forgotten like the Tulips.
I think, or the thoughts fall from my mind like beads in a torn necklace. The depression hovers on our shoulders, a heavy blankness that falls in an uncompromising blanket between us.
When the paper bag falls on either of our heads, we don’t struggle. We take our forced times in solitary with dejected silence. But we aren’t a we.
You are stitched into me with a painless thread, at some point the real blends into the darkness. The wind chime is quiet above the door, the metal leaves tinkling in strains of music.
The day fades into night which fades into days. Two circles flowing, two wheels in a bicycle. You, me, not a we.
I touch your sloping back, you touch my tail, and we are connected by life’s weary chains.