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Dear Old Stockholm

April 5, 2011

by James Brush

We communicated in images. Flickering moments on dueling monitors. Shoes on cobbled pavement. Clothes rustle in the wind. Wind? We both understand this thing, wind. The colors are suddenly blinding. I can’t even name them. The view of open parkland and a blue pond widens to almost 360 degrees. My stomach drops as the ground falls away, earth tumbling into a pit of sky, images bleeding off the monitors now. We’re flying again. It’s all she thinks about, the only thing she’ll show. I rip the cables from my temples. She flaps them from her wings. We stare at one another across the sterile distance of the research lab. Going nowhere. Again. A white feather floats on the air-conditioned current. We’re as alien and far apart as ever. Three feet away yet separated by species and the awkwardness of the now-severed connection with its illusion of understanding and love. Can she feel it too? She doesn’t blink, her avian eyes as incomprehensible as the machines humming in this lab. I glance at the security cameras and lean in. Please, I whisper, please. Don’t make me leave. I’ll show you everything. Outside, I hear engines and the wind of ten thousand wings beginning to flap.

A flight of egrets
glides toward the setting sun—
the moon rises.

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James Brush lives in Austin, Texas with his wife, cat and two rescued greyhounds. He teaches English in a juvenile correctional facility. You can find him online at Coyote Mercury where he keeps a full list of publications.

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  1. Deb
    April 7, 2011 at 1:49 am

    Goodness. Love the surprising images of this “alien”-encounter, especially the idea of just exactly whose world we are in, who is giving permission. Taking the halibun form as journey-based in an other-worldly way is tremendous. (Yowza-wow!, in fact.) The sci-fi begs my mind to soar. And it does.


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