I’m going to die at five o’clock tonight, like my father before me and his father before him. I leave my nest on the windowsill without looking back, because each glance is a second I can’t reclaim. “Your father was a navel gazer,” my mother says. “He never did anything he set out to accomplish.” And with that, she teases my cheek with the tip of her wing and expires. My own long wings are striated and glassy, and I rise above the meadow over the bagatelles of cotton and throwaway grass, searching for a place worthy of landing.

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