Sunday, December 6, 2009

the way a december morning looks from a bench dedicated to wallace stegner.

A crow says "blaurk!" I think -- at least there's something of a "b" in there, though how they say "be" with that sort of pointed mouth I do not know.

"Blaurk!" means nothing to me, even though I'm sure that if I swallowed my b's and spat my k's, I might get just the gist of it for the grist and the grimmo.

There'd surely be something in there about the sullen blonde hair that crumples the hills. About that time when all the souls in the world decided they'd rather be birds, and they seeped out of their skins and put on coats of feathers, some of them white for ocean flying and some of them brown for hiding behind leaves. And they all ran fast to the edge of cliffs and ran straight off, expecting the wind to fling up their wings and carry them someplace else. Except they never learned how to fly, so they kept on falling, right into the sea, and their feathers were wet, dripping, and cold.

They took off their wings, and they took off their tails, and they abandoned their porous, tightly sprung bones. They wrapped themselves in coats of long grass, lined with dirt-thick roots and worn from the sun. They told each other they looked more handsome, like animals, or maybe like beasts. But, grass gets caught in fingers. It gets tangled in hair. It sticks in your armpits and itches your neck and if you're especially unlucky it swells up your throat. It never stays as green as you'd like it, or as short as you'd like it, or as lush and long and grey as you always wished it would be.

So they cut it off.

They cut it down to velvety fuzz, and then to nothing at all, and everyone was naked again. They had to put on their underwear, fasten their shirts, pull up their pants, button their coats. They did their best to forget the foolishness that happened. Everyone was almost successful.

The crows have no manners though. They go on saying "blaurk! blaurk!" and sometimes croaking to make the point. They know it's impolite to talk about someone in a language that someone has failed to understand. They know it's very rude. They keep on with it still, like those people at a party who laugh and laugh about something they said while you were in the next room.


Kat Howard said...

I love this - the description is so lyrical, and it's the sort of thing that hovers just on the edge of possibility.

Megan Kurashige said...

Thanks, lovely. I did, actually, think of you when I was imagining the birds flying and then falling.

Stefani Nellen said...

Oh, wow. This is gorgeous.

Megan Kurashige said...

Thanks, Steffi. I've been writing these little postcard tidbits as sort of five finger exercises... All my story ideas have been annoyingly convoluted and vague lately, so it's fun to just play.