I am revising the catalog when the bird meets the glass of my living room window.
Recently I’d come to believe birds didn’t do that anymore.
Walking home from work last week, I watched a different bird, a simple, brush-colored one, hop through the chain links of a fence.
I had been as taken by this bird as I would had it passed effortlessly through a hard stone.
As if to mock me, it did it again.
Since then I’d assumed that birds could pass through anything if they really wanted to.
It seemed the right thing.
Just then I’d been cataloging all the kinds of animals that surprised me.
Birds. Termites. Polyps.
A catalog that had started last week, with the different bird. The one like a wad of dead leaves.
Like a sign from god.
And now this bird is here, dead and broken on my windowsill.
Broken the way windows break.
No ounce of it passed through the glass.
Not a single glossy feather.
Some of which are indigo.
It has a sunset chest and a newsnow belly.
And it is perfectly still.
Rigid as earth.
Why hadn’t it passed through the window?
Why hadn’t it?
Alec Prevett is a poet, flash-fiction writer, and human from Atlanta. Their recent prose and poetry has been featured in or is forthcoming from Pithead Chapel, Hobart, Puerto del Sol, and others. At least a third of their work concerns birds in some fashion. They are pursuing an MFA from Georgia State University.