The Dead Bird House
by Lorette C. Luzajic
We followed the long sky for hours. We were the only ones on the road. The white cotton bolls blooming beneath the blue were like a mirage. We passed a crooked little church, covered in spray on prophecies. Tagged, jagged, bedraggled, so many ghosts in the dagger branches. The dead went with me everywhere, no matter where I was going. I did everything I could to make sure no one I loved felt they had to compete with those who had no fight left in them. But when you bury everything before now, you long for what’s long gone. It was there at the back of my mind every time the sun started setting on the bay. The shadows descended through the pines along the cove just before we landed home. There were always scattered starlings on that lawn with so many birdhouses tangled in the trees. Why that was so was a mystery. I cast my bets on the obvious – poison - sure the old hermit who lived there was a sadist. But you said fate took its own turns. The dead birds might have preceded the occupant and maybe they scared her, too. It was a generous view of her life and people’s pasts in general, and I took it. Said maybe you were right and left it there. But inside, I knew the thing wasn’t outside of me, it was something coiled tightly within, this darkness that drew death to me. I didn’t say it of course, how I wanted something else to be true and real, to give you only the thing I had always wished about myself. I wanted to be easy to love.
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"The Dead Bird House" is published in print in Lorette C. Luzajic's new book, Winter in June Mixed Media Books, 2021).
Lorette C. Luzajic is a writer and artist in Toronto, Canada. Her prose poetry and small stories have been widely published, in The Citron Review, Unbroken, Cleaver Magazine, MacQueen's Quinterly, and more. She is the editor of The Ekphrastic Review. Her most recent book is Winter in June (Mixed Media Books, 2021).