now you know that the bird has died
and her wish was to preserve it somehow
that was yesterday
she had balanced it on a cotton reel, you know the old wooden ones with red thread.
this balancing thing
started years ago
in childhood, a game. later life a habit, a meditation.
she watched others, the artists balancing stones
copied , then balanced all sorts, soaps. boxes, anything really.
perhaps it is a control thing she supposed as she balanced the bird.
it stays easily. she looks a long time, takes her phone
waits for dusk, for the light to change
lowers and photographs. a different app and repeat
there are a lot of skulls down here in the studio. a few any way. she is prone to her own excitement and exaggeration.
bird skulls found, placed, kept, some under glass domes.
her father had done that now she follows his lead.
she remembers the time he had placed a mouse corpse under a bell jar to see how that worked
he was dismayed at the decay and mildew; the stench when he lifted that jar.
his experiment a failure.
she feels it is a still life.