Every night I cook chicken and hope the sizzle of bird flesh on my stovetop will awaken my own wings in an attempt to save my fellow bird, so that I might fly free of the small room but night after night, I remain wingless, splashed with cooking oil, waiting until dinner is done.

I walk upon eggshells

Their points pierce the thin webbing between my toes with each slight movement, making it impossible for me to swim away, so I practice pretending all day that I’m a ballerina with toughened feet who can crush shells, nails, and hearts alike without leaving behind trails of blood for sharks to find.