• Vol. 09
  • Chapter 05


She hums as she washes up the pots and pans,
her throat flushing as steam rises and clutches
at her neck. She remembers something she said
at dinner, how the whole table turned to face her
and her husband’s foot pushed down on her toes.
Earlier, guests had swooned over her napkin origami,
the little hummingbirds she’d folded - wings caught
mid-beat as if in salute, tail feathers splayed, bills curved
round the rims of empty wine glasses as if trying to feed.
They’d said that they looked too good to be used
but as conversation moved on - the bottle uncorked,
ready to pour - she’d watched each hummingbird vanish
like a party trick, undone by a quick swish of the wrist.