Birds Of A Feather

By and for Bird-People

What is it like to be a swangirl?


What is it like to be a swangirl?

It is like this: flapflap featherswhite, brownandwhite stronger growing. feet curl wings flap s-t-r-e-t-c-h and feel breath in breath out, breath into lungs place of calling place of flying. urge to fly. skytouched, sky touching, need to touch sky. need, need. wings flapping, flapping but wingsarms are skin no feathers no fly. heavy, grounded. deep bone need wrong wrongwrong. fly. call out, calling feeling in throat stronger stronger need to call. cry, hiss. call to the sky.

It is like this: knowing the turn of the season deep in your blood. Migration times, breeding times, nesting times, teaching times. Feeling the migration before it starts. Feeling sexual one time a year, and then, passionately, but the rest of the time, you don’t care. Feeling wings on the back. Knowing what feathers feel like. Knowing the sky better than you know your own hands, you don’t look at your hands, they bother you but you look at the sky. You see lakes, you see birds, you see them floating on the water and they are family. Your heart stops. You want to go home.

It is like this: nest is safety. Nest is home. Always one eye open for something that could attack. But nest is good, you curl up, you feel your feathers even if they are not. You fall asleep dreaming of wings, flock, grey skies. You fall asleep with the smell of lake water and pondweed in your nose. Sometimes, your face feels hard, like a beak. Your eyes are in the wrong place. You have a howling heart, in the mirror you see the wrong face. Your shadow is strange. Feet are strange. You lie down and listen to your heart, beat, beat, beat, and wonder where is the beatbeatbeat, the fast heart, the flying heart.

It is like this, and this.

It is like this: the mist is heavy, and your heart is heavy and light, and the shadows of trees are the only thing you can see. And your feet and arms and mind start to melt and you can’t feel anything, and you can feel everything, and you want to run away into the night for ever and it is beautiful and terrible. Sometimes you forget, you forget that the human rules and human society exists, you melt into a mind that never did know that, and every time you start to wake back to the human reality, you wish that feeling would last for ever.

It is like this: you never cared about being special, or being different on purpose. These things are human and they don’t matter to you. Everyone will tell you that you try to be special, but you just try to exist. But special is far from your thoughts. When you tell the stories about your truth, you say it so that others can find a place to feel not alone. And, because it burns and bleeds in you, and you can’t fly to get it out, and so you write. You would not mind if no one knows your name. Sometimes, you wonder why you need a name.

It is like this: you know your self. You know your self in a detail that most people never ask about their selves. You know it and it is wonderful, it gives you pride. But, you also feel every little gap between the true self and the outside self, like your mind is made of sensitive skin, feeling all the bumps and rough places.

It is like this: staring at the keyboard all numb, not understanding, because you lost your words.

It is like this: when you think about being a child, you remember a small child, a human girl. But, when you curl up under blankets and take your mind back to that time, you become small and fluffy and the world becomes a simple, happy blur. Food. Warm. Swim. Shelter. Warm. Cold. Food. Flap.

It is like so many things. And it is like nothing because it is just my life. And I have so many words and I don’t have any words.

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