Crow’s mother was mad at him when he refused to meet at the top of the spires. She pointed out that all his sisters and brothers would be up there, and it would be an entire family meeting. What could we possibly have to meet about now? We met last week and we bit each other so much we couldn’t walk for days.His mother paused at this and said, sometimes you don’t need to wait for trouble. Sometimes you got to make it. Crow flew up to the spire just as it began to rain.
Although Crow loved to take naps early in the morning, he always had nightmares within a nightmare, which he didn’t like at all. If I wanted to interact with all those crows, I would go outside and take a walk, he said. The next day, he did just that and turned and walked the other way when he saw other crows.
Not realizing that it was a mere façade, Crow hovered in the rainstorm and tried talking to the face on the church courtyard wall, and when there was no reply, he flew away in anger. As he was reached the outskirts of the city, he turned around and flew back to the face, but the face was gone, a gash where the lightning had struck its mouth. Crow wouldn’t let himself be heartbroken, somewhat disappointed that he hadn’t had the opportunity to uncurse the face and make amends.
Crow was more than a little ashamed when his mother caught him stealing from the twig market. What kind of crow steals firewood? She asked. He agreed that it was a ridiculous theft and immediately apologized to the vendor and returned the logs, now covered in the sick hail that began to fall from the sky. When the vendor saw the logs, he began to weep, not at the crow’s humility but at how beautiful the log looked. On the log was the pattern of the tree’s heart soaking out from its little wounds.
Crow made his best attempt to carve a hero from clay, and he wasn’t precise enough, and his hero was misshapen with no unique features to look at in admiration. His mother walked up to the hero and asked him what his hero’s name was, and he said Rain because it contained more blood soak than Cloud.
Monique Quintana is a Xicana from Fresno, CA, and the author of Cenote City (Clash Books, 2019). Her work has appeared in Pank, Wildness, Lost Balloon, and other publications. You can read her book reviews and artist interviews at Luna Luna Magazine, where she is a contributing editor. She has been supported by Yaddo, the Sundress Academy of the Arts, the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center, and the Community of Writers. You can find her at moniquequintana.com.