Short Voicemail on the End of the Season

by Ellery Beck

I am sick of walking on the sidewalk with cicadas as they sing their last songs. I’m back on the way to class, late—was sitting with a raven, she seemed like she couldn’t fly. How could you expect me not to stay? The big leaves, the ones that swallow my hands when I hold them, are starting to fall. They seemed three times the size of the bird, but just as stuck to the sidewalk. Tried calling my mom first. I sat, a little too close, saw her eye barely attached to the socket. Can’t imagine what on campus caused it. I keep trying to find some way to sugarcoat these sights, to prepare myself for life’s little everyday brutalities. I would rather be late with you; you’d know how to help her. Call me back if you have a chance? The wind feels like it’s stinging my skin through this sweatshirt. I’m trying to convince myself she’ll see sky again, make a swift recovery. You know, I’ve never been too great at the part where I’m supposed to walk away. I keep trying to hold my hurt, keep it still, make it softer. This morning, on the walk to my car, I saw the neighbor’s cat gnawing on a robin’s head. Sorry for calling again. I still can’t stop imagining what it feels like to fly.

Ellery Beck has a BA in Creative Writing from Salisbury University and primarily writes poetry. You can find their words and art published or forthcoming in Passages North, Interim, Phoebe, Typehouse and Cider Press Review. They’re also a reader for Poet Loreas well as one of the co-founders of Beaver Magazine.

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Filed under Nonfiction

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