Yellow Birds


My body was found in the creek last winter. Somewhere in the fading width of the evening, my brother was taking a walk in the white hills, a strange walk lamenting the rhythms of his fate, when he came upon my body, and forgot about himself.

            In the evening, my mother lit yellow candles, while my father prepared dinner. My brother had been visiting from Stockholm, where he was studying poetry. The moon had come out in the late afternoon, and some unkempt feeling in my brother’s heart made him want to leave our stuffy childhood home, and freshen his lungs with sights of whitened hills and small black trees, thousands of them, which were planted just a year after he was born, when my life was not yet three years away from its beginning.

            As I sat low in the tree above him, I could see the meat of his pink heart, swelling with a common fury that no one, who truly knows it, would ever want to explain.

            The next night, my mother, not knowing what to do with herself, or perhaps knowing instead exactly what to do, began lining the creek with candles, with the moon trickling through the water in between the rocks. She was not flustered; she was determined, and my brother reluctantly helped her back and forth across the creek, determined that she not get wet.

            My father stayed near the house, straying outside a few times to watch the creek grow yellow in the distance of the night, as though some runway was being set up, for my soul perhaps to land again where my body only once had been.