I want to clean something down to the bones.
Make a closed space open. Bring in air.
Let go of avarice. As if all that I have gathered
now hidden from me or taken. Squirrel nests.
Stack of plastic buckets, holes chewed through.
Fluff filled flowerpots. Even the hammock rope.
Little candle house carried out into light. Sudden
flutter, glinting against thin filigree. Spicebush
swallowtail clings, black gloss wings, small orange-
blue moon-dots on her tail. Hatched in the dark
spring. The shed’s last and only captive, hesitating
even when she is shown an opening, a way home.
When you wish only for erasure, you disappear.
But to empty a place, you can feel whole again.
Before anointing the axe handle, appointing bamboo
stakes to their corners, an inspector – slender milk
snake, body ringed in gold, stretches her length
across the bottom beams, slides up the wall on her
way out. Swift flicker. Mouse-hunter. Omen.