Lived clean and tidy, she lived off lists, check check check, interior world scoured and lemon Pledge scented, windows closed. No pets no smoking no loud talking. Shh. First finish the chores, then if there’s time maybe lay face-up beneath the old oak, maybe jump in the river, maybe count junebugs. But first. Tick tick tick. Washing in, washing out, the dirt onto the rags and the rags into the machine. What, no time? To bed then. When she goes she’ll leave a No. A hole.
But what could a mess have done for her? A contrary wind would overturn the false flowers. A mandala of glass shards point back to the point of impact. A shock, a stop, a broken clock. The open window a channel between in and out. The sun pour in, the sounds of the street below, the air exchange. Her glance fly through the opening, swift as a bird.