And We Never Die by Cathy Ulrich

The boy comes to school with some guns in a bag and one in his hands and starts shooting. He points the gun at us; he says bang. He says bang bang bang, like he is playing cowboy, cops and robbers, Duck Hunt.

He pulls the trigger and we don’t die.

We turn into birds instead, small birds with brown feathers and black round eyes. We rush at the windows and through, wings beating like the sound of pouring rain, out into the world, out into the sky, swirl of small brown birds, and we don’t die, and we never die, and we leave them behind, boy and gun and bang bang bang, and we are in the world and in the sky, and we soar, and we soar.

Cathy Ulrich likes little birds. Her work has been published in various journals, including Threadcount, Moria and Pithead Chapel.

Photo by Rowan Heuvel