Turning out. Over. Leaving. A turning
of the back. An act
of take-back, basementless
bungalow, base, off-base,
debased, dis-
respected. Scrubbed
clean of it, abrupt
finality, an exhale into cardboard boxes
flimsy as its timbers
and blocks left, her life, the body,
where she sat, the porch
where her kids sat. Anything
within reach, the line
of sun-dust piercing
the window, drilling into a heart
late afternoons in winter. Smallest
trinket, a spoon, the thin coating stuffed
into a grudging trunk, a greedy feeding
of a small expanse, every
floor-inch possessed, spilling onto seats
visible as an urging,
like a laden donkey on a long trek,
pots, pans, photos,
tied with rope. Stuffing,
stuffing it all under the tarp-
shroud. It is that easy.
A lifting like petals releasing
the stalk, floating to the ground
on a windless day, the point
in the music when,
just seconds ago you thought
you still heard it, but now
you’re not sure.

about the author
Grace Curtis’ book, The Shape of a Box, was published in 2014 by Dos Madres Press. Her chapbook, The Surly Bonds of Earth, was the 2010 winner of the Lettre Sauvage chapbook contest. Her work is in Sou’wester, The Baltimore Review, Waccamaw Literary Journal, Blood Orange Review, and others.