the sky looks like a polluted ocean outside the window and the writer sighs at overused metaphors.
sheets of paper pour from the printer and the daughter can smell the ink all the way in the kitchen.
the pie on the oven has a crack down the center; she can never bake the way her mother did.
she rests her head in an oven mitt hand and listens to the windows rattle behind their screens.
the mother's cross hangs around the writer's neck and he rubs his thumb against the golden christ.
in march the ground is snow and what isn't slush has been coated with dirt and homeless man's pee.
the printer runs out of paper and the writer tries to recall whether he has another ream in the closet.
the daughter notices the hum has stopped and decides to help the writer find some more paper.
but the writer has lost interest in the novel and is staring outside of the window at a bluejay.
the daughter walks to his side and tries to read over his shoulder; last time she asked, he refused.
the bluejay weaves through the air like confetti and spirals down toward a berry bush in the yard.
both writer and daughter try not to think about the day its roots took to soil but they do anyway.
the bluejay's wings knocks against the branches that the mother pruned with scissors from the shed.
the daughter reads about a young woman with sunglasses; she guesses that it's supposed to be her.
the young woman with sunglasses is trying to escape from a block of ice but she can't get out.
the branches shake as the bluejay struggles against the gust to get back to his mate in the tall oak.
the mother's cross sways as the writer leans forward to watch the scene in the noxious sky.
the young woman with sunglasses closes her eyes and awakes twenty years later in an inferno.
landing on a tree limb the bluejay offers his mate a berry that he's caught on a twig in his beak.
the daughter coughs and puts a hand to her chest; she worries about asthma and heart attacks.
the writer knows that if he were a bluejay
eating berries with his wife in a tree