~ SLUDGE ANGEL ~ by Natalie Terezi Rei Watts


I scare the pedestrians because I have too many wings.


don't you see how those eyes reflect the sunlight? don't you see how the feathers are serrated? don't you think that thing eats kids?


I want to say yes just to see the looks on their faces.


A cop comes over and says I can't be here, that I'm a disruption to the public order. My body is too hyperreal and when something twists along all the wrong curves and envelops all the wrong anatomies it's a gunshot to someone's fragile perception (the world is a lie! the world is a lie! one of them will surely chant later, a true sign that I'm the abomination they make me out to be [and not a simple portent* of my own self.])


Nod, say okay. The same process, every day. I retreat back to the drainage throat I came from and vanish into the cityscape stomach, where you can be hidden in the massless unmeaning waste (bile like preservatives, plastic around ankles, rainwater like halos); unmeaning by nature of being discarded to break a line of sight. It's where angels like myself are said to belong.


God's in his Heaven. I'm in his Sewers.


*but all portents have lives