Off Interstate-77, she lies
on the pavement: belly up, bulging
eyes to the exhaust-filled, periwinkle
evening sky. This is her deathbed,
a ground covered in a ROYGBIV
of gum, pressed permanently into
the sidewalk by the footfalls of kids
on their way back to their magic carpets
that take them safely to Disney World.
These feet and their popsicle-sticky fingers
did not touch her, to my surprise. She is alone,

safe, and her body does not twitch. She
is not surrounded by shocked witnesses
or chalk outlines. Her wings: intact, moving
only slightly with the passing cars’ wind.
One week ago, I watched a BBC
documentary on her kind, on the life
she sacrificed to give birth in a dangerous
world. Half awake, I heard the narrator’s voice say,
“Her wings are truly tested. If she doesn’t
break through the water’s surface,
she will drown.” The nearest bodies
of water to us now are the Gulf, seventy
miles west, and a pool of spilt soda
a few feet from my sneakers. Her eggs
are not here. The volume was too loud,
causing my sleeping boyfriend
to stir. As I lowered the TV’s
sound, I heard him say, “Her success
depends on these fragile wings.” I
kneel down and pick her up outside
the Circle K. My sister tells me
it’s gross to touch dead things.


Evana Kaelyn Bodiker is an undergraduate at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, studying English, Religious Studies, and Creative Writing. She babysits cats often and likes to collect bugs. Her work can be found in Cahoots Magazine and Canvas Literary Journal, and @evanakaelyn on Twitter.

Vagabond City Literary Journal

Founded in 2013, we are a literary journal dedicated to publishing outsider literature. We publish art, prose, reviews, and interviews from marginalized creators.