on the way home sitting in the back seat watching the white line and grandpa’s eyes in the rear view mirror. drove by mrs. hayden’s house. house gone, grandpa said control burn. his eyes detached. milkweed grew where the house stood. thistles surrounded a willow and i imagined a beehive droning velvetly above the massacre. mom said mr. & mrs. hayden’s house was very beautiful. i wondered what made it beautiful maybe they kept their bread in a beautiful silver box, hung their coats neatly near the door. mom couldn’t remember their first names. grandpa said: laura and adolf. mom said adolf hung himself in the barn. mom said no one wanted to live in the house after. i wondered what it would be like to hang. pretended i could handle the pain. tucked my sweating palms into my juniper linen dress and watched a hawk in the froth grey sky circle an oak tree. i wondered if i could smell risk maybe it smelled like old marmalade. wondered if it was soot-black or maple red, or if, perhaps, it was disguised as the silhouette of a skeleton key. grandpa said their kids were nice & pointed out a dead possum in the road.