[40] If I Were a Golden Pheasant, Veronica Klash

My jewel-tone feathers would ripple in the sunrise, the warmth gliding, pricking my tendons, and reminding me to peck for little morsels that scurry among rocks and grass. I wouldn’t shovel cereal into my face over the kitchen sink, spilling two spots of milk onto the center of my wrinkled blouse.

If I were a golden pheasant I would lead a bouquet of us, so named because we’re beautiful, in song. We’d hoist our beaks to the great blue above, our unified call a melodic majesty. I wouldn’t arrive at a meeting ten minutes late, again, to face a shooting gallery of fluorescent-graveled looks and water-cooler moistened mumbles.

If I were a golden pheasant I would unfurl my gilded Aurelian wing to allow a less brightly colored but equally appealing mate to find a home close to my feathered chest. We’d wrap each other in uncloaked declarations, all would hear that she is mine and I am hers. I wouldn’t, after a failed blind date, meet some scruffy man at a bar and take him back to the apartment.

If I were a golden pheasant I would perch on a high branch to watch as an orange orb dips lower and lower. The crepuscular crisp air would set my prehistorically epic talons into the wood, securing a comfortable domicile for the night. I wouldn’t push aside papers, tissues, crumbs, and clothes to climb onto a cold bed, not to sleep but, to hang my mouth open as I scroll through better lives on my phone.

If I were a golden pheasant I would be resplendent. I wouldn’t have to be me, anymore.

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