No Nest

By Sara Siddiqui Chansarkar

Morning, I watch from my chair by the window. A fork-tailed swallow flies with mud it deposits in the far nook of the porch. Its mate brings dried grass and layers it on the mud. The pair works tirelessly, amassing and weaving little hopes clutched in their bills. The fertility treatments I’m undergoing exhaust me. I retire for a nap.

Evening, refreshed after the siesta that lasted all afternoon, I return to the window. No birds anywhere. Mud and grass lay strewn on the porch floor. A caulk cartridge stands wedged in the nook. My heart sinks. I hear the lawnmower in the back. Your car’s parked in the driveway. I know how you hate bird-shit, won’t allow a bird-feeder or a bird-bath. But, this?

Night, while you snore, I bury my hopes under my clothes in a duffel bag and wait for the first light.

Sara Siddiqui Chansarkar is an Indian American writer. Her work has appeared in SmokeLong Quarterly, Reflex Press, Flash Fiction Online, and elsewhere. She is currently an editor at Janus Literary and a Submissions Editor at SmokeLong Quarterly. Her debut flash fiction collection is forthcoming in October 2021.More at Reach her on Twitter @PunyFingers