Thursday, June 18, 2009

We set out a box on the curb labeled "Free!" and full of everything we no longer needed. Bouquets from the weddings of couples who are now divorced, math books full of equations that never added up, ghost stories and butterflies and sugar packets and the bones we found papered in behind the kitchen wall. The neighbors took most everything in the night--well, someone did, and whether it was the neighbors or the squirrels or a roving band of hermit crabs is anyone's guess--and the sides of the box crumpled a little in the morning dew. It all smelled of mildew and roses and celery.

Left at the bottom was a tumbled layer of crackling flower petals, exclamation points, and a snake oil cure for heartache. We held our breath as we looked at it, waiting for it to be sad in the way all left-behind things are, but just at that moment a shaft of sunlight broke through the tree behind us and coaxed a rainbow from that snake oil like a turbaned charmer with a golden recorder.

There was nowhere to go from there but sideways.

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