By ANNA NORTH
I killed a bird in Iowa City. It was lying, dying, on the concrete steps that led to my apartment, a basement lair whose drains sometimes backed up and belched black ooze everywhere. The bird was gasping and twitching and its eyes were shut very tight. It was a titmouse. I stepped over it and went inside.
I tried to work, but I kept thinking about the bird. I decided to call my mom, who lived far away, and ask for her advice.