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Picture of Sybil Smith A Bright Yellow and Black Bird Who is Singing

Available Now - Hanna Duston's SisterRight now there is a
bright yellow and black bird
whose name I used to know
before I started taking this med,
lexapro, no....topamax,
which is a pretty good drug I guess
in that it used to help me drink less
(though it hasn't been working that well lately)

right now there is this bird who is saying
" there is a God!"
Because I was up at my sister's house
getting a few shots of rum
because my brother is dying of pancreatic cancer
and he's a wreck
and I'm waiting to hear from an agent
as if my life depended on it
and so despite all the meds I take;
the topamax, lexapro, buprenorphine, wellbutrin, and amitriptyline,
pain was climbing over the walls with a knife in its teeth
and I had to take extreme measures
such as driving a quarter of a mile up to my sister's house
to get a shot of rum ( three shots of rum)
though I'd tried healthy alternatives
such as calling someone in AA
and planting cauliflower in the garden
and standing outside under the sky
and trying to believe there was a higher power
that loved ME GODDAMN IT!
But somehow I couldn't grasp that
because the phone never rang
and the agent never said he'd take me
and my brother never had any peace
and my family stayed as fucked up as it had ever been
and the sky stayed as blank and blue or black
as it had been since the beginning of creation
except when the clouds came and the sun sank
and some other things happened like lightning.
(Which is why people made up the idea
that there was this big person up there
called God who had these giant toys that he was playing with
and that was why we saw things moving
and heard thunder and such.)

So when that didn't work I got in my car
and went to my sister's and drank some rum
and that helped a lot
and when I came home my cat had something pinned
on the grass and I said "no!" just like that,
and walked up and saw this bright yellow and black bird
that was all ruffled, shocked and flattened in the grass
and I thought, it's dead.
But just in case it wasn't dead I reached down
and when I touched it I felt life in it's body.
Life throbbing all over it. Life like a chorus, a storm,
a poem, a shot of rum
and as quick as a wink I lifted it and flung it into the air
and OH MY GOD it flew.
Just like that.
With a surprised sound that wasn't part of it's vocabulary.
It flew strongly and though a few feathers floated down
it never faltered as it reached the hemlock
and never stopped to rest on a branch.
It went farther over the river till it was lost in the distance
and my fucking cat got so upset it jumped on the shed roof
wishing it could fly as it watched the bird fly away.
And I stood there surprised with a feather in my hands
as if I'd just created a bird and kept this thing as a souvenir.
And right now there is a bright yellow and black bird
who is singing.

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