How overjoyed I was, to hear her squawking stop so suddenly. She’d boarded after me, birdcage in hand. Then, after the ascent, three squawks. Maybe two. Anyone on a plane, I’ll tell you, can’t stand the sound. I’d heard of puppies dying overhead, the change of pressure too much for their little lungs, but birds? She reached over, lifted the cage to her face to peek between the thin, black wires. Gave it a small shake. A few feathers were shed, clinging to the cage’s frame, but that could have meant anything. Only when she stood to walk to the back of the plane— carrying her sudden grief, the still, yellow bird— did I see her face, watching her house, and everything inside it, burn.
Maya Nordine lives in sunny Chicago, Illinois, where she runs a virtual writing workshop called Study Hall. She holds an MFA from Antioch University Los Angeles. Her work has been published in bath magg, The American Journal of Poetry, Small Orange, Door Is A Jar, and TYPO.