A Little Jar

 

I keep a little jar of terrors in my chest. Mason of green coins for a nation wiped from earth. Glass bestiary of unpinned moths. An ocean of undertows. A cage of common sparrows like the ones sold outside temples, small feathered souls, songs for a song, bought and released for luck. Carrying pieces of the city, they come back to be sold. I once hated them, their foolish trust of habit over flight. They climbed into gold and glint and continued to sing. Theres a great sky above a great city. The sea smells like cedar and lines of laundry snap with reckless pleasure. Further down a city market snakes in covered alleys. Some days Im there to buy ripe cherries. The man weighs and ties them in plastic with a simple knot. Its one motion: gather, fill, hitch. He never smiles. I pay by weight. I bring them home and you wash them in the sink. And we talk of how well use them.