I stood stooped over the kitchen counter, eating khakra when I paused mid-crunch, for suddenly there came a tapping, as if someone was gently rapping, rapping at my…window.* It was not at all a raven, or even The Raven, though this bird was as large as any winged magician. No, it was a simple Indian house crow balanced on the ledge outside my livingroom windows, holding court with her own reflection. I peeked at her around the curtain, admiring her glossy black wings, gray-brown head. She was so close I could see each protective bristle feather around her eyes and nares. She pecked at her likeness in the glass, territorial to a fault, her matte black beak striped with scratches, scars maybe or tribal tattoos. One of her flight feathers was folded sloppily over the others, and every few moments she stopped to pant out the city’s heat. I made the slightest movement, maybe with my hand, maybe with my eyes, and she noticed, jumping away down the ledge, quickly spreading her wings and flapping off with a caw-caw-caw. Smiling, I finished my khakra, absentmindedly dropping crumbs on the floor, wishing I could fly, evermore, evermore.
*Love you, Frenchy.