She talks to me in whispers, feeding me sunflower seeds while he plays video games in the next room. He's been out of work for so long. She doesn't think he's even looking anymore. She doesn't know how they can afford to keep going on like this, but she can't talk to him about it: he gets too defensive. You know how men are.
I preen the back of my neck, pinching each new feather at the bottom to break, then strip off, the flaking sheath. Anyone who talks about eggshells like they're fragile has obviously never been inside one.
First published in the Spring 2010 issue of Boston Literary Magazine