Bells


Every time a bell rings, an angel gets her wings. Every time a horse hears thunder, he runs through the field; his eyes are white and wild. Every time my cousin played the kazoo, he left spit in it. He was hit by a car when he was twelve. Every time the lights go down, the guitar plays and the moon comes out from behind a cloud. Every time the clouds gather, the rains fall and the birds shake their wet feathers. Every time the birds shake their feathers, they make a sound like the flipping of pages in a well-worn paperback. The paperback, lying on my mother’s stomach, rises slowly and rhythmically as she snores. She snores until the thunder comes; she snorts and sits up, awake and remembering an old song in Spanish that she can’t sing now. She can’t remember a song about birds, a song about loss, a song about love. The rain comes down, and in the yard the wind chimes kiss together, little bells calling, calling to the wingless hovering halfway between here and there, listening to a melody almost, but not quite, reproducible.

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