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November 29, 2023


Tayler Butters

Your dad tosses a rubber crow into the grass to rot like a carcass. The guy at the Tractor Supply told him it would scare the real ones away, and they were always swallowing your sky whole like thunderclouds, threatening to snatch your shih tzus, and it was starting to keep your mother up at night. 

And there was supposed to be a tornado today—we watched from your balcony, waiting for the clouds to form but they never did, and I waited for the day to be anything but beautiful and I waited for the wind to be anything but gentle. And I told you sometimes I get scared the sun will crash from the sky like lightning, and you tell me space doesn’t work like that, and I tell you I know but I’m going to worry about it anyway, and I’m sorry for saying anything. 

And the guy at the Tractor Supply never told your dad that crows hold funerals for their fallen before they disperse forever, and I watched them as they mourned a life that never existed, and then they were gone, the sky opening up, and there was light.  

And you're always quoting that saint that said something like God make me celibate but not quite yet and you wrap my palm in yours and we touch until our hands get tired and you're always saying things like that, like we’re always going to have time.

And eventually, the crows forget about the fake crow in the yard or maybe they’re just not mourning anymore or maybe they just forgot because they’re back and maybe death can only be a deterrent for so long.

And a psychic read my palm once. Told me my head line was short but deep which means that I’m wise but need to be patient for once in my goddamnn life, and I wanted to ask him to just get to the point already—there’s so much I want to know without ever having to live it first—then I gave him sixty dollars’ worth of wrinkled bills, and I left and the sky was dark and it felt like the clouds and it felt like the crows. 

And you called me after. You looked it up—crows don’t hold funerals. They’re investigating, looking for danger, performing an autopsy.