Our Wings

Our wings have changed. The membranous tissue grew hard and unforgiving as we slept, as we waited for the world to wake us from our dreams. Instead, the world forgot us, abandoned our magic for mountains of plastic and steel. Forest to forest, field to ravaged field; so much of the magic is gone now, and that which remains has turned.

Our wings have changed. Metallic now, and razor sharp, they hang like burdens on our backs. The ground shudders when we beat them, blades of grass becoming rigid, like filaments of iron. Trees petrify at our passing, leaves solidifying into curled wafers of burnished aluminum.

Our wings have changed. Where once we flew, we now must walk. Our footfalls echo behind us, waves of liquefied steel rolling out from our heels, enveloping the foliage like so much morning dew. The alloy hardens over flowers and shrubs, traps animals within their burrows.

Our wings have changed, and so the world will, too. Forest to forest, field to ravaged field. The air grows thinner.

—Kurt Kirchmeier