Outside is a dogwood. The green leaves are hot with a dry yellow cast.   A cardinal sits on an empty bird feeder with its black eye focused on my window.  The camellia is smooth, glossy, green, not dry like the dogwood.  I know how they feel without touching them.

The storm split the big dogwood out front right down the middle.  A man is coming next week to look at it and see if it can be saved.  I have too many trees, so why am I spending money to save the old dogwood.  It was growing when my daughter was little.  She would run away to that tree when she was mad and hug it, glaring back at me like the tree was her new, kinder, better mother. It’s a marker. I need to keep the markers.  I know about illusions, but I cling anyway.

I read a poem this morning that had a jaracanda in it. I looked them up. They have delicate lavender flowers that cover the ground like confetti after a rain. I want one and can’t have it because they don’t grow here. I don’t want to think about where they grow because I won’t ever go there. I’m irritated by what I won’t see in the years I have left, in my one and only life.  Can I visit the jaracandas in my mind?  Can I read myself to them?

The fan is winding back and forth. It jiggles and shudders as it turns.  My husband says he can’t stand the fan.  I like it to blow right on my face while I write. It reminds me that I sit here with a face that feels it’s coolness and ears that hears its humming and rattling.  I’m not in another place entirely, a place where words spin and voices prattle and coo, a world where Virginia Woolf lives, where she watches the sun rise on the old school and the waves throw a skirt across the beach, as I sit beside her and share her life.

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