she rises from her bed and plops her brown wings on the sheets
and chirps to her mother as she get ready to swing her brown wings to the sky,
“bye amu! i love you!”
only to receive a heap of silence and a hesitant croack of “get some haldee on your way home”.
As she felt the gushing wind gently hit her brown feathers,
she looks aside and sees Padma Auntie with her saggy red wings drooping to the concrete floor
and her throat filled with gossip to chitter.
She looks away and hopes not to catch her beady black eyes
so that she doesn’t have to hear about her roguish comments laced with sly about how her ugly brown feathers can never match to her daughter’s white pearly fair feathers.
before she can fly away,
Padma Auntie shrieks her name and tells her to sweep down.
She prepares herself to hear her boast and tweet away about how every man wants to wed Priety
but this morning was different.
She looks at her and sees a wicked small smile form at the corner of her enormous orange beak.
“I wonder”, she whispers, “how hard it must’ve been for your mother.”
She pockets her wings and wonder what she meant.
This is the moment in her life that she learned the true meaning of the saying, “curiosity kills.”
She suddenly feels the whole world on her wings
and plucking each feather off of her skin.
She felt as though she had swallowed the entire sun and has
reached her stomach and burns through her flesh and existence.
She couldn’t believe Padma Auntie’s words. It had to be lies.
She rushed home as fast as she can and sees her mother on the bed, just laying there, looking out to the window as if there is no life in her body.
She couldn’t dare look at her in the eye.
How could she?
Mama’s silence was now more louder than ever.
How did her mother feed her with her breasts and teach her how to use her tongue knowing who or what she was?
How did she comb her feathers every night when she is the present reflection of her phantom?
How did she carry her in her womb for nine months knowing that she
that she is the result of the man who raped her 15 years ago.
She is not the beautiful bird with soft long brown wings she always saw herself as.
She is not the noor of her mother’s silent eyes that she thought she was.
She looked at her mother who was too busy wondering if she can ever use her broken wings again.
She wondered if her sucking on her nipples for her milk felt as if she was draining her
or if carrying her in her womb was like bringing her demon to life while sacrificing her own soul.
or how every shriek and gasp she made while birthing her was not out of excitement but out of pain and despair.
Her skin no longer felt like soft layered feathers,
but like rough sharp scratchy scales.
She no longer could bring herself to look at her mother
or chirp her “I love you’s” when she goes outside
or have the strength to fly high enough to reach the clouds.
Every time she took a breath, the sun in her stomach started to crawl up her throat.
She is not the beautiful bird she thought she was.
Instead, she is the predator with the sharp glistening beak ready to swallow the helpless little worm.
And that worm,
is her mother.
A few nights later,
Mama bird was sweeping the dusty floors and realized that it felt unusually quiet.
She hops to each room, her broken wings unable to carry her, and looks for her daughter.
She croaks with her small dark beak,
and hears nothing but silence.
She quickly leaps to the bathroom
and finds hundreds of bloody feathers on the floor
and a pair of scissors next to her daughter’s naked body.
For the first time in fifteen years,
she screams as loud as she can
and flies to her daughter laying in the blood stained bathtub.
She wraps her featherless body with her wings,
and muffles into her naked skin,
“You are a beautiful bird.
My beautiful bird.”