As far as I can tell, birds are not self-aware. A hawk does not think, “Maybe I should head over to that group of trees, the one along the eastern lip of the lake – maybe I’ll find some tasty mice in the fallen pine needles.” In this way, birds exist in a perpetual state of ego-lessness, a state of selflessness that has been the aim of mystics throughout history. And so one says that there is no boundary between the hawk and God, no curtain of self. And so another says that God remains beyond, unless the self exists, and is laid down like a drawbridge. And so an other says tha tthe selfisnecessary onlyas
We circle the lake. We are hungry, didactic, quiet. In the rain, in the mid-thirties, as the rain freezes high in the atmosphere and the snow moves in we nestle into tall Wisconsin pines high above the forest floor. We eat fish. They hang silvery from our mouths, in the sun, beneath the water, from the water, silvery. We collect bones for no reason at all. The bones fall from our nests and we do not bother to catch them. We let them hit the ground, get lost. We have no desire for such things. There are no objects.
Previously published in Nanofiction.
Anthony Opal has recent work in Softblow, Country Music, and [PANK]. He lives in Chicago, where he is an MFA candidate at Northwestern University and poetry editor for The Economy. Anthony’s “A Fragment from the Book of Adam” is also in Reprint.
Object(s) to bring back to life: “Mercury thermometer.”