The day her husband left for good, leaving her to deal with the house, belongings and memories, she began to drink. Bourbon. At first it caught in her throat, but by noon, it went down easy. By two, she blared the blues and abandoned her earlier plan of making piles. By five, she started a fire in the backyard. No need to pack. By nine, the blaze burned hot and loud. Then when the moon was high, its light catching the rising ashes, she looked at the house and the final memory to take care of.
The year she stopped eating and working and talking, she devolved, draping cloth over mirrors, not brushing her teeth. She went from Emily Dickinson to Sylvia Plath to Anne Sexton, reading their work over and over, copying their words. A day came. She reached for a pencil... cracked egg, hot griddle. Her first poem filled two pages. She now eats oatmeal and wanton soup from the Chinese restaurant.