My Name was Supposed to be Elizabeth Ann

— Stories from the Roads (Not) Taken

The day after, Birdie bins and washes, shelves detritus of a home upended. Dust clogs her nose. Tickles her eyes. She sneezes. Blinks. Sneezes yet again. Birdie knows dust is partly skin, that skin sloughs and regenerates each moon cycle while her bones and heart require ten years of cycles to renew. By which math, …

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