Natalie Edwards published a featherproof minibook, “Crop Milk.” She was featured in the Chicago Reader’s 2010 fiction issue, on McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, and on therumpus.net, which named her one of the funniest women of McSweeney’s. You can read and hear more at natalieaedwards.com.
Shortly after the 70 degree day there was a 93 degree day.
On the 93 degree day, Mary slept with the windows open, knowing that her cats, with their new, calming pheremone collars, would not climb and snag the window screens.
On the 70 degree day, she and I drank white wine with ice cubes, and I remember feeling tan and tired. She was giving away her things. Books. A sweater that looked like a Cosby sweater but with embroidered fruit on it and not geometric patterns. A vaguely southwestern dress. The shirt I’m wearing. Purses. Boots. And then she tried to unload her newest winter coat, but I begged her to keep it just in case. The thing is, we know that no one comes to Chicago in the winter, not to visit, and especially not to return in a permanent way. So we know better, but she also knew what I meant when I pleaded with her to keep it.
Also on the 93 degree day, pigeons nested on my balcony. They arranged a bed of sturdy red flowers, plucked—roots and all—from my neighbors’ potted plants. I brought the nest inside and put it in the garbage can. When the birds returned confused, tilting their heads like pups, they dropped their flowers and flew away. I felt guilty, like the time I didn’t stop my neighbor’s dog from getting cement on his paws. By the time I threw the garbage down the chute, though, I reasoned that they were probably building another home.