A SYMPTOM OF MODERN ROMANCE

by Myrth Tan

you held a bird by the wing.

thumb and index finger forceps

pinning wildness with clinical precision.

it struggled and beat against your stone grip

a flurry of pink, blue, green. an oil spill rippling across a lake

in the wake of something beneath the surface.

in perfect panic it is learned

dancers in glittery costume.

a feather falls to the ground in the excitement.

look what you’ve done!

it is less of itself now, without its coverings.

it would dash itself against the rocks to be free of you.

you would rather let it die than let it be.