He began hearing, at night, occasional noises his new wife made while she was sleeping. It was like something at the back of a throat, calling out like a distant bird, as though his wife were reverting to something primitive and wild. And in a dream one night he found himself bending down to lift a bird’s nest that had fallen to the ground near the house, but without warning that nest became—in the strange illogic of dreams—the tangle of hair between his wife’s legs, which startled him. Another night he heard the same ancient sound lifting from his wife’s throat while they were making love, and the recurrence of that sound disturbed him even more than the dream of the nest, though he couldn’t have said why. And years later, after the divorce, he told himself that the sounds he had heard had been like what a small creature might make if it were being carried away in a hawk’s talons into the sky.

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Doug Ramspeck

About Doug Ramspeck

Doug Ramspeck is the author of six poetry collections and one collection of short stories. His most recent book, Black Flowers (2018), is published by LSU Press. Individual poems and stories have appeared in journals that include The Kenyon Review, The Southern Review, Slate, and The Georgia Review. His short story collection, The Owl That Carries Us Away (2018), is published by BkMk Press (University of Missouri-Kansas City). He teaches at The Ohio State University at Lima.