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I see a bird
An enormous, frightening bird of prey
Perched on the sharp edge of a rock
Its focused, beady eyes looking down
The large talons clutching something…
Something trembling
I see a hand

The bird swiftly dips its head
Digs a pointed beak
Into the skin on the hand
Blood gushes from this new wound
There are many such wounds
The hand’s now pale
It belongs to a body still alive…

The bird is looking for more
The hand suddenly moves
Blood dripping from fingertips
Like water off a rag wrung hard
The hand attempts to reach someplace
To the face…

I can almost see the face now…
Yes, I see it
It’s mine!
But how can I be there, dying,
When I am here, alive?
Or am I?

Is it only a mirror?
But it’s all in rusty sepia
Is it an image?
Is it a movie with my face in it?
Maybe it’s a nightmare I’ll snap out of soon…
Or is it?

I still see the bird…
Its eyes, its beak, its bloody talons
Only, it’s not a bird anymore
It’s a person
A gaunt wretch
My hand is no longer bleeding
But trembling nevertheless

Then I vanish
Where did I go?
The man begins to laugh…
A shrill, satanic laugh
He walks to his pet, the bird
Strokes it gently with his wiry hands
He lets out another horrific laugh

I still don’t see me
Where am I?
Am I lost?
Or in the shadows?
Am I hiding behind the skeleton of the tree?
Or beneath that threadbare rag?
Maybe it was a dream after all…

Or… was it??