• To my bird:

    With you, all the cliché nonsense they write about love and heartbreak makes sense. My fingers tremble as they grip the pen; my eyes, red-rimmed and leaking, ache. My lips can say nothing thousands of so-called tormented souls have not already voiced. It doesn’t matter. The words of my heart are inconsequential now---you wouldn’t hear them anyway.

    You were a peacock, and I a mere sparrow, and for a while, I believed that my dusted wings could spread and catch the windblown sunlight too. But as all things must, my flight had to end. Some birds are made to be admired, fought over, caressed. Others are a dime a dozen, fated to fly unnoticed amongst the vast clouds of the same. I was lucky you took the time to notice me.

    Now, we part ways; you to fly south, and I to be left behind in the midst of the winter. Let the other birds, peacocks, sparrows and pheasants alike fly to safety. I would rather be alone, to nurse the ache left behind. To clutch the sun is to hold a scalding warmth, to be numbed in cool dark and snow.

    And yet, despite these metaphorical truths, we’re both still here. I am the sparrow, clip-winged and kept in your gilded cage. When your eyes are on me, life is wonderful. These bars that keep me a willing prisoner might as well be the sky. But too often do you turn away from me. Too often do you keep me from your flock, almost as though ashamed you could ever have loved a common bird. We are together, but separate; could you but hear me now you would laugh. “You’re not mine,” you say, “and I’m not yours.”

    Then why am I stuck here?

    My heart is yours. You may keep it tucked away in your beautiful plumage or you may squeeze it dry in your talons. It’s your choice, and I abide by it. In our first flight, that was the choice I made. That was my promise. I am here by your side, forever, always; through incredulous joy or misery, through heartsores and heartsoars, through blistering pain, cool sorrow, and happiness like a warm spring day.

    You are not mine, but I swear I’m yours.

    Maybe, just maybe, one day you will look at your prisoner and see that she has metamorphosed into a breathtaking phoenix… and when you do, she will be your loving prize.

    My bird, my bird; though I’ll never say these things, I hope you can hear me.
    - Your sparrow