fiction (II)

For a long time, she sat there in the dirt. Passers-by would look at her, occasionally stopping to extend a hand, express concern. Too broken to stand and too proud to plead, she shook her head, demurred and turned away. She told them she had chosen this, that she liked to be brought so low, to see the sky from so far away. That she needed to take the time to feel the earth beneath her while she grew back her wings.

She sat there, folding again and again back into herself. Memories that she painted rose-colored became her favorite companions. She thumbed them over, crumpling them, pleating and creasing them until they faded and melded into each other. Over time, their sharp edges softened, until she no longer bled as she ran her fingers over them. One day she realized that their weight had diminished, that they had crumbled and disintegrated from overuse. Without thinking too much more of them, she set them aside, and they blew away like chaff on the wind, and she turned her eyes skyward.