Algebra

1.
The tectonics shifted inside the cupboard next to my head. I don’t remember
a click or a pop; I just knew that something in the air was different, like sadness
entering a conversation through the threshhold of a word. Splinter. Freefall.

2.
Broken. Pieces. Then glasses of all sizes flew around the room. No arms
threw them, but anger filled the room like pollen fills spring air. I was alone
in the kitchen, but the crashing continued all around me. The shatter of glass,

3.
the plume of fragment. Shrapnel landed on my slippers. I no longer stood
in front of the sink, but three steps back with my hand on the door. The cupboard
ejected its oversized bullets through two doors ajar. Clear threats hurled

4.
at my feet like the realization that I was not wanted in a room of my own design.
My husband walked in but didn’t say a word until the last glass fell, an egg cracking
on the edge of the countertop. “You’re all right” as if I hadn’t just fallen victim

5.
to inexplicable rage: the temperment of living I’d never seen coming, and always knew was there.
I watched my husband grab a broom and dust pan and begin to sweep. I thought of high
school, of Mr. Waltz telling us the meaning of algebra. The putting back together of

6.
broken pieces. The bone-setting. Soldering. Mending. The needful shelf pin that caused
the outburst. I told my husband not to throw away the shards just yet. I imagined gluing them back
together, taking a sip of wine from algebra. I wanted my house to contain an equation

7.
I finally understood.

Inspired by Angie Estes’s “Beautiful Thinking” and Harmony

Empty House

Ladybugs. That’s what I think the crimson drops are, but they don’t fly away as I walk in the door; they multiply and swarm a broken glass vase on the carpet.

The kitchen table clutches a hasty note: AT E.R. TYSON’S OK.

(photo credit: barnism on flickr with brightness adjustment)

The Flight Between Worlds

Two low-flying owls hurtled toward us, so white they glittered in the fog. We heard the susurrus of their wings before talons shattered our windshield. Stunned, all we could do was let them shuttle us— faster than lightning— into our next lives.