Author: Hari Navarro, Staff Writer

Once on my way to school, I happened across the body of a newborn baby bird. I thought it badly made. Its cold flesh hanging too loose as it slid atop a fragile frame of barely formed bones.

I felt it again. The kiss of bloodless skin as it writhed in near freezing embrace against mine.

“Can you hear that? Clink, clank, that scraping tap…”

Mother collected dolls. She called me her little Dresden Doll and I guess my pale face and sullen pout did echo these most treasured porcelain creeps.

“… it is a metal plate attached to a pole with a single word… Dresden…”

We are toxic in death. Long dormant instincts revived and we grope for the ladder…

“… I hear the slip of the chain as you pump your beautiful legs into the pedals…”

… the twisted helix that animates our corpses so as to drag us back to the exact place of our births.

“… You pant and you bite the thick roll puff of your lip and the pollen catches like gentle lost stars in your hair…”

We are abominable weapons. The perfect spore dispersion system… we will rot the Reich from the outside to the in and it’ll fall away into dust.

“… I watch as you stand high astride the saddle and your dress pulls tight at your back…”

Plate Rack, Plate Rack…
A lot of search light and fighter flares; OK, boys, come in and bomb glow of red target indicators… Dresden is hot …
Bomb doors open!
Steady… Steady…

Dresden. The word such truly wicked torment. I remember correcting her. Parian Dolls… no such creature as a Dresden Doll. That day she ruined my voice.

The doors opened. We fell. There was a kind of peace as the air pummelled in throbbing waves and ripped the stink up and away from the poor scabbed pores of our flesh.

“… you sing through the humid stick of your lips…”

Fire. Blanket of seething orange. Roaring ordnance and I sink down into the furnace mist and smell my hair as it melts.

People trample and fall and ignite and flare. A man with his face burnt away clutches a photo in a frame. Falling ruins and a gale of flames that runs as liquid. I saw the dead. We who fell from the sky. I saw them move and the contamination split and spat from our skin.

We create a swath of our plague clean through the belly of the enemy as we drag our bones back to dear England. We’ll never get there… but the Nazi’s will fester and fail.

Fire does terrible things to the body… it contracts… it compacts and the doomed fuse together and children contort to the size of… dolls…

A wicker basket with a baby inside… hurriedly staved beneath wet sheets… and my body fills with the greasy steam scent of its death.

“… I love you…”

I grappled like a clicking slug across the earth until the meat rolled from my fingers. I ripped the bones from the waste of my legs and used them as stakes until I tumbled into this peace – a girl and her bicycle.

“… Blood beads at the graze on your knee. What shame as I look upon you unasked, hidden wedged down in this drain. Hooked tight beneath the bramble and sucked into the mud at my waist. But know this. I am everything as I deny the choke of my instinct and I forget about home and all I can think of is you.”