Expecting by Luke Wortley

When I open my front door, I see that the porch has turned into a clutch of eggs. All of them dumb and round and nestled tightly, packed in like pebbles on a drive. I’m afraid to step out and see what the temperature actually feels like other than a swipe of my hands, fingers slipping through the frigid air. I’m a mess. I don’t know how to care for these eggs, how to keep them warm. The first gauzy drips of snow lean on the breeze like lace. I can’t care for them all. Even so, I grab all the blankets in the house, pause at the door, and toss them. The wind screeches to life, and they land haphazardly in a pile some feet away, useless. It’s too far to jump over all these eggs, and the temperature is dropping. Then, I feel my skin coming undone, the bonds decoupling from tendon and bone. I’m nearly blown away as I stretch and transform into a mantle of flesh. All of me stretches out of necessity to cover the porch. Under me, I hear the whispering cries giving way to the quiet stupefaction of the entire nest.

Luke Wortley holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Butler University, where he served as fiction editor for Booth: A Journal. You can follow him on Twitter (@LukeWortley) or visit https://www.lukewortley.com/




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