Yellow-white kitchen with salmon trim.
That kitchen with drying herbs and stenciled hearts, watery red, and parents wearing big square glasses, their hair frizzy, flesh supple and lit.
Yellow-white kitchen with dark beams and a round table.
What I remember is little more than a feeling and a photo.
It glowed like a faceted bulb—little fist of windows hanging off the back of the house, before demolition, before the addition.
Windows looking out on that swatch of nothingness in the yard, patchy grassy corner at the edge of the woods carpeted with needles, not empty but a void nonetheless, almost scary almost comforting, pulling and repelling me, giant pine at the center scaly but benevolent, the woods beyond whispering with distant traffic—whoosh of the earth itself, the wind in our wake as we spun.
Later on I came to associate the pine with Papa. It became him, especially after he was gone—grandfather pine, beacon of the void, towering over us in the near-distance, the photo of my papa holding me just there in the old kitchen.
We are sitting at the table. We are smiling, faces close.
Between us and whatever force wrenches us on: an armor of windows.