Olivia Cobb


This week I blocked my ex-boyfriend on Facebook,
Instagram, and my phone. I forgot to unfollow him on twitter
so he blocked me there and I knew he knew I didn’t want to know him anymore,
which was a strange relief—
knowing we could communicate
through aggressive non-communication,
if you know how important that is—which
I’m sure you do because you’ve been broken up before or

at least hit a bird while driving
and felt so much distress that
you pulled into the nature preserve
across the street from your ex-boyfriend’s ex-house and
parked your car so you could walk up to the place in the road
where the bird lay dead dead dead and

you picked up the little tiny thing, thinking,
“I killed this but I did not murder it,”
and you did not question how much your ‘but’ negated everything before
(how far back do buts go? (I know what I did there)), so
you swaddled it in the leftover McDonalds napkins you had
incase of accidental spills or apparently
accidental hit-and-mourns.

You very carefully balanced the napkin-wrapped birdbody, the Purell, and the windshield scraper
you grabbed on a whim to dig the hole,
and you took the bird to the tree on the far side of the road
where it was flying, you supposed, when you hit it
in the middle of the song you were blasting about love,
while you were feeling great good brand new
about how fast you shifted past his ex-house and kept going
without flipping it off—so unlike the weird ex-lover brokenhearted part of you.

You found that you could not bear to bury the tiny thing
with the feather stuck between its hardly open
open beak. So you set it down, soft,
from the napkin by the base of the tree and
you walked back to your parked car
chanting to yourself that
the bird dying was
worse than you killing it.

All that is to say, you’ve tried to bury something before,
successful or not,
so, you probably understand what I mean when I say
it’s important to communicate without saying anything,
to communicate by letting things die
or hitting them with your car,
so to speak.