What Opens

Before the after.

After the children had gone to live among the missing, after the pirates searched and left the land of broken light, our ghosts, these former vessels were everywhere. 

And now. The screens rotate between sales events. First furniture, then war.

Idle hands, moving gaze. Downhill crossing grid: stucco, asphalt, concrete, sidewalk, yard. Repeat under shadow of freeway, up southern peaks. Back over yard, clotheslines, sheets into the harsh of late morning. 

Find water, find ice, find the birds with your ears. Try again. They’ve gone silent. Find freeway on three sides a sudden soft hush and now a child’s laugh. Look and see her. 

Barefoot and away, threading steps between oak and sage, eucalyptus, orange. Her pause in the clearing to enact the opening of stem into bud stretching petals to hills spinning. While stray cats watch, a horse looks on,

and you––