Missing #3



Kathy Vargas, Missing #3, 1992


On my run I saw a dead owl lying in the crease of the road; she was pressed beneath the lip where the curb and the asphalt meet. I thought, 'This dead owl must be an omen.' I've always wanted to be a diviner, knocking dusty bones together or sifting through the sticky innards of a bird to articulate my fate. As a diviner I could read the micro parts of life (bone, feather, liver) to understand something about the macro parts of life (love, health, fortune). But to be a diviner you have to kill mystery; you have to dissect and disembowel her; you have to snuff that which is weighted and full of breath and flight. I'm jealous of those birds who tuck the future between the folds of each feather...but am I willing to pluck them dry to read the secrets tattooed on their wrinkled skin? No. I think maybe it's best to let mystery fly.