Done, stand in the woods
pages behind you
insects screaming
like nothing has happened. 

(A bottle slips from your hand
Beer into peat, the trees
in German beer gardens
relish their hops.
leaves grow dense and shady)

It feels like a book,
thumbs scrolling through time
as if the screen is liquid,
and the characters are impossibly

(Pour the whole bottle out into the ground.
No need for the blurring.)

Behind you the house is lit,
chapters snapping like magna tiles,
slices of yellow and orange,
warm the rooms,
plexiglass attachments,
coming together with relief.

(Leave the bottle there
It’s degradable, and your own yard.
An awning of delectable shade will
shelter you.
Sand will return and all the pages
too will vanish.)

Hand on the knob,
return to the living
more and less human.
The children are sleeping,
you haven’t said goodnight. 

Thea Goodman is the author of a novel, THE SUNSHINE WHEN SHE’S GONE (Henry Holt and Co. 2013.) Her fiction, essays and poetry have appeared in this journal, The Rumpus, The New England Review and other venues and have been awarded a Pushcart Prize Special Mention and The Columbia Fiction Award. She’s at work on a new novel and poems and periodically teaches writing at The University of Chicago.