I want to live in a house with a wraparound porch or an
apartment where I can stretch from the kitchen to the couch. All
Cicero said we need is a library and a garden, so I’ll keep
little brown pots on the windowsills. Did you know that it wasn’t until 1915 that
a post office employee designed the standard American mailbox? Onceupon a time we sent letters back and forth that I signed
with “Hugs!” when really I meant “Lots of love,” so I hope
you took it that way once or twice. What do you think
of your new hometown? The days pass like weeks here, the months
like days. Pain flares through my lower back and I meltinto child’s pose, the wood cool against my forehead. I want to sit
on an aluminum stool and eat kalamata olives with a fork, right out
of the jar. A faceless stranger paints over my brother’s bedroom
walls, so I tell him to stop getting taller. When did you outgrow
your mom? I dropped a watermelon

in a grocery store a few years ago and felt a shot of adrenaline
that I mistook for shame. Like watching a misspelled word autocorrect
to a name I’ve been trying to forget. Does that happen to you with L? Pittsburgh
tore up the yellow brick road in front of the house, called that
progress. Gingko leaves impress into soft

pavement; I push red cedar through the basement
table saw. I want print editions of the local news so we
can read the Sunday comics and stockpile them for
wrapping paper. The birds will wake me up in the morning and if I leave
this tea here long enough, I can pretend I meant to drink it cold.

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