It is as it is when the whole house sleeps and you--only you--are awake. You do and do not wish to be the only one awake, and you feel the world's mouth open wide, as if to swallow you. Unless you pray.
There are house plants. There are pets. There are new appliances, sugar cereal, one or two things you don't recognize. In your absence, rejection letters came in pairs. (And here, it is important to distinguish homophones: pairs, not pears.) They threaten to choke you, but you see that the kitchen clock ticks. So you resonate your vocal chords, as you would if there were someone to speak to. Your name first: . There is your voice. You decide it should still be heard.
At a reading, there was this line:
Chimes in a darkened house.
As long as there is a line you remember, you will write lines others will remember. Remember this, like you remember:
Don't sit under the apple tree with anyone else but me
'til I come marchin' home
Tie a yellow ribbon 'round the old oak tree...
Do you still want me?
Songs sung last time you were in this kitchen, when ice hung about the deck, drapes on a stage. Somehow your heart got lighter, fingers laced beneath it. Somehow a straighter spine, as if the little sparrows that drink the heavily leafed water pooling on the pool flocked to your back, got in and knotted themselves like musical notes along its length.