She didn’t hear the gentle yip of the coyotes. She didn’t hear the cicadas vibrating against the cold trees behind her. She didn’t hear the mournful owl before he left his branch and swept past her like a silent train engine. She was too busy watching the spirits hovering above her broken body, wisps of smoky gauze, apparitions of mountain legends and conjured myths. She was too busy separating from her skin, pulling apart like honey from a hive, releasing her soul into the night air, leaving trailed blood and bent bone behind. She was too busy asking the stars for directions, holding out her weightless hand, and trying to find her way home.
Kristin Kozlowski lives and works in the Midwest, US. Some of her work is available online at Lost Balloon, matchbook, Longleaf Review, Pidgeonholes, Cease Cows, and others. Her piece, “Salty Owl”, will be included in The Best Small Fictions Anthology 2021. In 2019, she was awarded Editor’s Choice from Arkana for her CNF piece, “A Pocket of Air”. If you tweet: @kriskozlowski.
photo by Jr Korpa and Chantal & Ole (via unsplash)