Tempted by escape and relief, I will try to fly away. If I hope that the world ahead of me will be better than where I’ve been, I might allow myself a moment of maybe.

I might get it right. I might find my way. I might learn to belong. I might live as me.

Except when I am blinded by my desperate desire for change—for betterness—I won’t notice the familiarity of what is reflected in the glass. So, I will slam head first into the flat facsimile of anything-but-this.

Then, like a complete fool, I will lie on the disappointing ground, stunned by the reality that was right in front of me. Splayed out, beaten down, and unable to tolerate even one more embarrassing, speculative attempt, I will dream of surrender.

Loved ones will want to avoid seeing how awkwardly I’ve landed. Instead, they will cheer, plead, and chirp, “You will recover. It will get better. You’re going to be all right.”

I am only a little bird, though. I can’t keep crashing into windows.

Eventually, someone will have to find a shoebox, make a soft bed, cover me up, dig a shallow grave, bury me in the backyard, and let me go.