Last week (or perhaps it was the week before? This month, overheated and damp, has been one in which the days have melted heavily into one another) I found on my red-slated back patio the fragile feathered body of a small bird. It was a limp thing, abandoned both by the cat and whatever little animal spirit had once animated it, and I prodded it dirtward off the stone with a sneakered toe.
This morning (such a still morning, such calm air), looking out through the window, I saw a flutter ripple across the forgotten wings. Oh! Outside I go, curious, to peer more closely.
The bird was dead, of course, still. Its feathers had already begun to grow into the ground; its breast had already opened to and connected with the earth below; still, its small carcass, horribly and wonderfully, was moving– maggot-fat and warmer than when I’d found it.
What is terrifying about death is not that it is an end, nor that it ends, but rather that life, thoughtless and unstoppable, continues, and continues, and continues, hungrily devouring the emptiness.