The Song You Wanted It to Be

Fiction by Luke O’Neil

A wooden house stands above a green hillside near the sea in New England on a cloudy day
Photographs courtesy of the author

See the ducks down there she said pointing like a child points. The black and white ones she said and he said where and she corrected herself and pointed again like an adult points and he said I guess so I can’t really see without my glasses. Do you want me to go get them for you she said and he said no he said he could go get his glasses himself if it came to it. They’re bobbing under the water she said like penguins she said and he said do penguins do that? Dawning on him now that penguins of course must have to dive down to eat fish or what else were they supposed to live off of otherwise. Certainly no insects swarming about in the Arctic or Antarctic or whichever one penguins lived in. Like warmer birds get to go running around after. Not yet anyway. 

Where do penguins live A___ asked her and she thought about it for a second and said the Antarctic and he thought that honestly doesn’t narrow things down for me. 

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