She Was the Girl With Wings, by Alyssa Bauer

She was the Girl with Wings Illustration by Eugene Zeng

She was the girl with wings, and we covered her with a plastic blue tarp. She fell like a black arrow, slicing a scar through the feverish scarlet blood-orange sunset and landed with a poof of soot—she lies there in her mangled beauty. Her gauzy wings heave laboriously, like the crumpled wings of a freshly emerged Luna moth in a too-small jar trying desperately to pump yet confined and so it dries wet wrinkled and heavy unable to fly. The soot slowly settles about her, staining her paling lips and clinging to the minutiae of her feathers. She is unconscious, eyelashes gently sweeping her fading pink cheeks as dark tresses of hair snake around her face like poisoned veins. The burns on her forearms and torso pulse wildly hot, yet her face seems untouched. The constant yet weak heavy thumping of her wings against the ground push up more clouds of soot, showering herself with gray flecks peppering her wings. The futility and destruction. Oily muck pervades each feather of her delicate wings moving slowly but surely to consume her freedom and agency. She was the girl with wings, but we covered her with a plastic blue tarp. Hidden in shame and sloth and we tried to forget. The foolish slip of a thought that someone else might fix this.

-Alyssa Bauer

Featured in Vol. 3, Iss.1
Featured in Vol. 3, Iss.1