When ducks come in to land on a lake, they cup their wings inward to slow themselves down. I told her that's what the birthmark
on the inside of her right thigh looked like. A drake mallard. A wood duck. Its outline against the sky at daybreak. She traced
my kneecap with her finger, said she was trying to memorize every detail of me for when we wouldn't see each other again. I didn't tell her
I was doing the same. My father used to take me bird hunting, back before I moved away. Doves, he said, flew different from the rest. They didn't
flap their wings quite as fast, or as frantic; they flew more smoothly than finches or sparrows. He made sure I aimed ahead of the target to make up for
the space the bird would fly once I pulled the trigger. Leading the bird, he called it. Don't aim for where the bird is, he said, aim for where the bird will be.