A small, alive thing.

“Here,” you said. “Hold this.”
I held out my hands and received
something small and heavy, contained
within a clump of downy black feathers.
“What is it?” I asked.
“It’s the internet,” you said.
“Just hold it for a minute. Don’t put it down.”

I sat,
holding it in cupped hands,
away from my body,
its heartbeat thrumming wildly against my fingers.

“Hey,” I called out,
“Does it have a mouth? Will it bite me?”
No answer.
The house was suddenly very quiet.
I looked out the window and saw that your car was gone.
There were already black feathers up to my wrists.

I decided that if you ever returned,
I would set the house on fire
with you in it.