She hears them pounding the sky as she tries to sleep. It's a holiday and they are loose again. She stares out the window and sees the sparks. So much joy, so much anger. She shouldn't, she knows. She's already taken in too many of them. She thought the last one would never leave. They are not hard to take care of, once you know what they like to eat. Glitter. Smoke. Every third heartbeat. It takes a lot out of you, that's true. But it's so hard to be just yourself. She looks around the second floor of her home. The holes have been patched, and all the colors now are the ones she likes. These yellows will show the dirt, the scrapes. She has added to her collection of glass figurines and placed them on narrow shelves, in high traffic areas. She touches one lightly with the tip of her finger, nudges it closer to the edge. She is stronger, she knows, and she will be careful. The sky is booming. She has so much to give. She opens the window, just for a second
's prose appears in Electric Literature, Jellyfish Review, Denver Quarterly, Cincinnati Review miCRo
and Kenyon Review.
One of his stories is listed in Best American Short Stories 2020, and his debut collection of short stories, Nesting Habits of Flightless Birds (Tailwinds Press) was published in October 2020. Bone Seeker (NYQ Books), a collection of poems, will be out in March 2021. He teaches writing at Grand Valley State University in Michigan. Find him on Twitter @ChrisLHaven