From my chapbook “Spinning Pins,” forthcoming:
The weaver sweeps and makes coffee. This is filling a pot with hot water for coffee, cold water for cleaning, hot water for coffee, cold water for cleaning. She walks to the cupboard for grounds, to the sink for water, cupboard, sink.
The painter brings a white cup and sets it on the step. He lays his tools and brushes along the table. The master wants a mural that will gather up the acres and roll them out again along the wall, ponds and horses suspended in summer or late spring, but the painter can only see tiny things—the nub of a peony shattered by a heavy rain, four brown eggs on a brown plate carried by the weaver’s younger sister. He stares for a long time, without seeing. Ash on the stones.
When the weaver is standing at the sink, he presses his hand into the small of her back and says, “Come walk with me.”
She puts down the coffeepot and they look left and right as they leave, guilty.
Into the barnyard and through it quickly, not walking close, until they come into the woodlot and toward each other, bending to examine a grotesque rubbery fungus like some alien brimmed hat attached to a stump, then out again into the lonely hayfield, usually private seedheads swaying, a bunting at the edge, brilliant blue on a low branch.