DAY 6 It is no dream to live in a house with blown out windows and molting snakes. Any child’s drawing would tell you so: the driveway, the garden, the smoking chimney. I sleep with a pistol between my legs so often that any man would be a soft nuisance. This quiet is the quiet of watching a living thing die, when you hit yourself for having believed the heart could ever resemble a red bird. I would give up all of my memories of trains if one passed through the foothills as I watched. All to say, there is enough emptiness to be buried wherever the weathervane stops. There is enough emptiness to feel holy. At night, the wind upsets the shutters, the shingles. And although I knew a bucket of morphine and a glass of scotch would kill it, I killed it. DAY 7 Somehow, we’ve all been given the same fate, which means our lives are ordinary. I can’t come to terms with the fact that the astronaut who stood on the moon and compared the earth to his pregnant wife’s stomach will die in the same dismal flames as the man who is too large to leave his house without removing the roof and hiring a crane. I could have spent years in bed listening to books on tape and masturbating until I fractured my wrists. I could have found the similarities between fractures and fractals and applied the math to the unsolvable equation of loss. I could have let my wrists heal crooked, waited to find a man who loved acute angles over obtuse. He would love how slivered my world is, explaining that some spaces are fixed, that he loved me enough to create a symbol to stand for me. I have spent years trying to be more industrious than the bees. Queen, you have no separate savior. Honey is no longer a reasonable bribe. Haven’t you heard? Our god is diabetic. Arthritic. Hypoallergenic. Give god a reason, he’ll break out in hives. DAY 8 If I stay in one place long enough, I will become overgrown with moss. This is not a curse. I will establish an address that defines my body in terms of coordinates on a map. I can finally give up figuring out who I am. When the moss is gone and my body longs for the same green comfort, it will expel enough negative desire to create a drought. The hard wind comes in the cracks of the windows like Tom Waits singing gospel songs. You pour the last of your milk over the sill. Each small sacrifice is rewarded with backstage passes to heaven. The moss is gone and a strict limitation has been put on water usage in the home. This is how it goes: every loss becomes a need. No problem. I have enough pictures of pistols in the mouth to make my children cry me green. DAY 9 When I come home, my husband says I think I married a witch. He’s watching old movies on the old movie channel, and I can’t blame him for trying to shove his life into a simple story that dogs, in their colorblindness, can understand. When the world ends, I will assume what he said is true. That my skin is made of magic, that I can turn any tragedy into a swan. This means that when the sky is a black tumor that is hungry for more than a solitary breast, I will turn it into licorice. Old men and women will eat through it and say Dear childhood, you are loyal, you have never left us. This means when the earth cracks open and tries to swallow us like pills, I will hypnotize it into thinking people are made of arsenic and bleach until it stops. My husband tells me I am a combination of Veronica Lake and Clara Bow, which means I am in love with whiskey and faulty hearts, that I do not fear death any more than I fear rocking horses and ringlets. When the world ends, I will be trying to turn light bulbs into hollow stars. When the world ends, I will be curling my hair with my husband’s burning hands. I will be on the back of a horse as if I am riding towards some sort of ending. DAY 10 We’ve been invited to a party in 1945. Apparently, this is what happens when time announces its ending: its labyrinth walls crumble. It becomes limitless, navigable space. We can walk backwards to the days we were born. With a seismograph, we can see how little the world moved. We can stand next to last year as if we were all people in line waiting to send care packages to strangers. As for the party, we need something to wear. We need to look real. I must cinch my waist enough that you can wrap your thumb and forefinger around it. You need a single-breasted coat and a red-breasted robin to teach you how to be the last man singing It’s Been a Long, Long Time. We will be so precious that we will spend the evening touching each other’s faces and drawing up plans to build a home in the suburbs out of white picket synonyms for affection. In 1945, the women will be drunk in soft light. The men will unzip their wives’ dresses as if they are dismantling a bomb, touch their pale backs as if they are full of land mines. We will be the only ones not dancing when they announce the war is over. When they ask us how we could cry and shatter our plates after hearing such news, we tell them We love war, we love lipstick, we love pocket squares and suffering. We would do anything for more missiles, more measles, more mourning. Sweetheart, when it’s over, it’s over.