Light sparks across your vision as you jog down the path. An erratic movement up ahead—a child veering across, a cyclist cutting through? As you lift your heavy head to see, you just catch the tail end of a fleet of birds flying in smooth formation above you, disappearing above you. In some weird miracle of flight they all move at the exact same rate, like they are strung together with wire.
But, no—they aren’t birds—what you took to be birds are in fact tiny new leaves threaded through with tree branch—and they aren’t moving. You are the one who is moving, feet plodding down.
You must be tired because your eyes are getting confused, and now your peripheral vision cuts off, so you have to direct your gaze meaningfully, lifting it up like a heavy, warm hose and hurling it across the yard, your gaze flopping down like that and still you must say to yourself: Look. See.
You stare down the path, the last window open to you.
Finally you are alone in the park; finally, by god, you own this whole goddamned park. A rush of power clusters in your chest, buoyant, and for the first time you understand that it is possible to run and launch yourself into flight. You attempt the launch—a taste of black grapes fills your mouth—but your body does not lift. Instead it is the ground that lifts, the ground of piney chunks and vibrating insects lifts up around you like a cloak. On your way down into the fold, you catch a last glimpse of the sky and those evil green birds, and you can’t understand why they don’t leave a black smear across that vulnerable, erasable sky.
Rebecca Leece is from Cleveland, Ohio. She has worked at Bomb and Lit Magazine. She lives in Brooklyn with no dogs and works at City University of New York.