birds in a barrel's mission is to release creative nonfiction into the wild.

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.

Young Lady, Where Have You Been

Dreams are supposed to be residue, of the day or a life, the bits and pieces we put back together. But the bad dream is always of the missing piece. The scenarios repeats itself, over and over, visiting at night ever since I was very young. Something has happened. It's probably something terrible. And I am being called to account for my whereabouts, to provide my alibi, to furnish proof that I was nowhere near, that I had no part, that this is not my fault, not my crime. But really, I have no idea. Because as I search and sift my memory, reach for proof of innocence, of non-participation, I simply can't remember. I have no idea where I was at that time, if I was in that place. I can't assert my innocence, because, in truth, I have no idea. It become physically painful trying to rip open my memory and retrieve those crucial moments. So, what is it really, that I don't remember? Is it a crime that I have pushed deep down beneath the surface or a crime that I have accused someone else of committing without knowing myself if I was ever injured? The dark troubled space of emptiness. I shake and finally awake, to relief that I no longer have to recall what I can't recall, but because it's all about nothing it lingers into the hours and life ahead. Where was I when it mattered? What is so painful not to remember?

The Pool Toy

El Coyote