There were birds somewhere. He could hear them but in all the trees he had no idea where they were or what they said.
She tells me about how they erased her as they grew. The pencil marks on the wall, notching years. Then he bursts into a clearing where the vegetation aging autumn in orange gold falls apart. Bald patches everywhere, thin veins on ash bark, yesterday’s rain underfoot. There are blank spaces in the woods in these shapes.
I push aside the drapes and in parched light the delivery driver dapples with soft plashes falling. And the whole time they were telling her there was absolutely nothing wrong with it. He could hear them but in these dead spaces where the trees had sucked themselves flat and cold they sounded miles away and he wasn’t sure he would be able to get there before dark. Yesterday’s ashes in my footprints.
Do you think they ever make it to the house? I ask her. The truck is always parked out front.
She tells me about how she broke through.