2.

There is a place you want to go, where you dragged a wheelbarrow from home and dropped the firewood of a tree you once knew and loved into the hollow space and ran back into the forest where you know it longs to be, where it belonged and where you stole it from. It is her tree. Red oak, loved by those hands. She bound the branches with a red ribbon and called it hers. It blew loosely with the wind. You kept the memory tightly because you liked the way she said hers, mine, yours. Someone there was saying something that sounded like a prayer, in ruins, a foretelling of ashes and grains, and back then you didn't understand but now it is her tree that you have kept in the attic for three years, her tree that you have imagined floating on the surface of a small river, the wet firewood which you loved.

It is now a fire that will not burn anymore, a miscarriage of days. You could build a grave with it. A pyre. You think of her tree and sit by the hearth where the afternoon sun tries to trip you when you aren't looking. This, you think, is something to cry about: the smell of candles and ribbon fabric, a poorer warmth which you've soaked up and dried in the sun.