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Asa Daniels

I heard the blackbird sing. 

It was the mellow song of a slow midsummer’s day, the flowers living eternal under the sun.

The park lawn felt so damn empty without her there. 

The sky was a deep ocean blue, the waves of time forever riding upon it as the wind upon a

field of grass. The grass that I sat on. 

It was hot and sultry, sweat sticking to my forehead, which was pounding with a headache

as I gripped the last book in my hand, the black leather of its cover scorching my palm. 

I winced as I turned, the sun blinding my sight. I felt a breeze suddenly uptake, coming

from the east. 

# # # 

“I want to hear the blackbird sing,” she says to me, as we lay in bed. 

“It’s too early,” I mutter. 

“The sun is out. It’s been out.” 

She rises and pushes back the curtains; with light flooding in, I rub my eyes. 

“We haven’t been out in ages,” she says. 

“We’ve been busy,” I bring a hand out, beckoning her. 

“You can be very boring sometimes,” she takes my hand. 

“And other times?” 

“The most annoying thing in the world,” she sneers into my ear. 

I cradle her head and kiss her cheek. 

“What did I do before I met you?” 

“You sat at the park alone, just as when we met.” 

“You only came because you wanted to water the flowers.” 

“I only stayed because of you.” 

We’re holding hands while walking down the path to the back of the lawn. There are

jasmines, roses, lilies, and lavender planted and potted across the area. With the early noon of spring in our minds, we stroll over and sit on an island of grass. The benches, the trees scattered about, the other park-goers – we couldn’t care any less of them. As in the gates of Eden, there are only two. 

“Have you talked to a trainer about exercise?” she asks me. 

“No,” I switch one hand for another to lean on, “uh, no, I haven’t yet.” 

“Have you even scheduled something?” she insists. 

“No,” I admit freely. 

“Why not?” she traces the veins in my hand. 

“I don’t want to.” 

“What about your heart problems?” 

“I know. I just, I can do exercise by myself, here.” 

“We’ve lived here for five years. You’ve yet to do anything except walk.” 

I shrug and sit up. “I know.” 
She puts her head on my shoulder. 

We look about at the world around us, the plants beautiful and youthful in their little

abodes, little castles of nestled comfort and ease, the calm sounds of the blackbird singing. 

“Did the doctor say anything about your lungs, on the phone?” I ask, turning to look at her. 

“They’re alright,” she faces me. 
“Are your lungs – how do they feel? Can you breathe alright?” 

“It’s okay most of the time. Gets a little difficult at night, sometimes, or when I’m gardening

here, or exercising – well, you’ve heard it.” 

“But you feel alright?” 

“Yeah, most of the time… yeah.” She takes hold of my hand and kisses it. 

Some time passes before she looks at me, with that sly smile which I fell in love with. 

“What do you say, we try and make a child together?” 

 # # # 

The baby will hear the blackbird sing. It will come to the world in the frosty end of the year,

a child onto the convolutions of pasts left behind and hurts left to bitterly scab. It shall see all there is to see at home and learn all the rules there are on how one lives and how one plays and how one shows love. It will come to understand that there are many things and many people in the world – that there is living and then there is dreaming. It will fear things, hate others, and fall in love, time and time again. It will know peace and yet seek it out with a fever; it will kiss and embrace without knowing anything else and even when knowing all other things, it will still seek love. The baby will hold the black book, the last book of all books in the world, for in the end there shall be no other books except It, to explain to some passerby the world that existed ten thousand years before and the world that shall exist ten thousand years after, all things not in a cycle but in a motion, forevermore, nothing ceasing and nothing ending until all things are eternal; except, all things are eternal. So, The End seems to be nothing really at all, for The End is already here, nothing to dream of and nothing to fear – but there is no other thing for a human to do, for the baby to do, except to dream and fear, for there is nothing worth it all except everything, even if all of that is nothing. It will do things unprecedented and it will shy away from risks; it will laugh and it will cry; it will live, but the baby’s mother will die. 

# # #  

I heard the blackbird sing. It was a happy little tune, at that time, as I watered the flowers.

The child had since moved away; I think they went out for a night on the town, or else were busy working, or else lying about their house. 

The summer heat had soaked my shirt and by night I had only the book to read. I came

under the trance again, the mellow sound of the blackbird singing, as the light slowly went below the horizon. 

“There is tomorrow until there is eternity,” she always told me. “So, no reason to be sad all

the time, if you don’t know what eternity feels like.” 

“What do you think it feels like?” I had asked, while I stroked her hair. 

“Hm… maybe the wind, or something like that.” 

Yeah, that’s what she told me. Maybe I’ll know for sure, someday. 

Fall 2021

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