i will be born

into soon the sky.

curled up on the bed, fists clutched to the white, spirals in the thin clean sheets: i fight lust. psychodelic patterns in my mind swerve and contort.

i talk to god, sometimes. i'll go to heaven, I reassure myself. i'll kiss my boys and my girls, paint my face and rough my cheeks and elbows, pierce my skin and pray the desire doesn't flood the holes. i am a bird girl, and bird girls go to heaven.

there is death around my eyes and lies around my lips, made of cold, finished glass. i polish them until they shine.

i hide my secret life from them. i am a girl, i tell them. a bird girl. my face is soft and feminine and my features are sketched across my face like a woman's, you see. i have feathery skin and my hair is made from many peacock feathers. my shoulders are narrow, my legs shaved. i wear pastel colored dresses and boots to hide my large feet, embarrassing: so unwomanly.

i don't fear life, nor welcome death, though it is coming for me; i only have a few more decades to live, despite my youth. my breath is black and shadows hang from my perfect eyes. the tests say so, too. i hide and wait for puzzle pieces to come together, my colors to form into something new and beautiful that no one's ever seen before. then i'll be free, borne into the sky, into heaven.

i work today and everyday in that old jazz club, the one that i love so much. just listening to the sadness leaking from the wrinkles of the dark crumpled skin and the spaces between the piano keys comforts me. sometimes i even forget that i have a secret. i drink and smoke like everyone else, and i fit in, fingering my cigarette as i serve drinks so strong and lethal i swear they're illegal. only i know what goes in them. i watch their faces when they drink, how they laugh and smile. their character leaves them when they drink; they become faceless, only a flat balloon-plane of a head with balloon-words trailing from their mouths, stupid words that don't make sense. the women's voices are turned ugly and rough, slow and syrupy like molasses, drawling and low pitched



i have the same cigarette again, grinding it down to its asphalt spine, ashes falling into my lap as i'm sitting on the bartstool on my break. the ancient grandfather clock in the corner strikes eleven pm. i'm ready to live again.

note: this was inspired by, and includes lyrics from, Antony and the Johnsons' "Bird Gehrl" from their newest album "I Am A Bird Now."