The Birdwatcher’s Wife & Other Fairytales for Wicked Girls


March me, blue-feathered and nectar-drunk towards the edge of the sky. Cast a net on a willow tree, arrest me from flight and watch me turn into a comet as I fall through the clouds.

You say you rescued me, and I believe you, I believe you. But sometimes a memory unearths itself from my femur and I remember the taste of air and rainy seasons.

Feed me, birdwatcher feed me. Fill me up with nectar, with strange language and honey that tastes of foreign things, summer things, of things in the dark that bite just as hard, just as deep.


Weep, birdwatcher weep but let me go. Let me go before the breaking, before my feathers molt, before the tongue turns on itself, half-starved and bluing.

Love me but set me free. Set me free before I turn caterpillar, before I turn silk-worm, before hibernation quakes through my bones and the metamorphosis eviscerates everything that I am, everything that I have ever been.

Listen, birdwatcher, listen to the hymn of the hummingbird’s wingbeat against all that yellow sky, listen to the heartbeat before torpor sets in, before the cicada wakes from winters grip.