The Angels' Day Job

First light. They don their shawls of ice and set to work in the aviary at the edge of the forest, where sunlight begins and shadows end. Every day they dress a thousand birds: crimson, cerulean, chartreuse, and then they hide behind the trees, to wait and watch. Wrapped in flesh, drunk with grief, you stumble through the shadows—you may even fall, brushing away the darkness as you try to right yourself. When you’re close enough to see and hear, and only then, the angels open up the gate to free the birds, their thousand songs, their dancing colors. Giggling like children, the angels watch your mouth, delighting in the way, because of awe, it makes a circle.

Ona Siporin’s writing arises from her experience of life and work in Africa, Central Asia, Europe, North America, and the Middle East. She has published poetry, fiction, and essays in print and has aired various commentaries on public radio. onasiporin-writer.com