Wasps drone threateningly above the door
              hovering and zipping around a nest under construction
You do your best to ignore them
              turn the tiny key, twist the handle, swing the door toward yourself
Step up — thud — onto the wood
Hear the grit ground into the floor
              under the ragged, dusty carpet
              once some array of colors other than dirty tan

The air is hot
              the kind of hot you can feel in your lungs
              stifling in your throat
You imagine this is what a desert might feel like
              or a different kind of drowning
Breathe through your mouth
              maybe that way your nose won’t dry out,
              cracking like the leather pad on the ax handle

An unceremonious clutch of tools
              thrust haphazardly in the corner to your right
Tennis rackets from days gone by hang to your left
              supervising well-used beach toys and
              those things Dad hasn’t found a place for yet
Looking ahead is like standing in the great hall of
              an abandoned castle
              populated by hoarder squatters executing their rights
Channel in the middle is overtaken by looming piles of old belongings on either side
              and so many antique baskets dangling from rafters.
Journey to the back — what were you in here for again?
Mom will rearrange everything
              in a few weeks
              in a huff
              vowing that this is the last time and
              “by God, if you’d all just put things where they belong, this wouldn’t happen.”
You can find it then.

Clay Cordell

Business Manager

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