Morning dew turns white on the grass and I stand with my toes bare and digging at the ground. The air is cold now like her skin against the sheets the last time we spoke. Her eyes had blinked at me then and looked away, looked toward the door that would later open with his hand on the knob.

My nightgown hanging to my knees, between the houses and oak tree, I wait. He walks out, his coffee cup in hand, his suit coat buttoned, and I see the curtains part, her fingers on sheer fabric, as he drives away.

I knock with my fingers wide, my palm banging on the wood, but she will not answer, so I run through the blades of grass to the window. I see her silhouetted in the chair, in the lamplight, with her knees bent and tucked.

"Please," I say, "please," and my hand is open against the glass, but her eyes are closed.

I watch as she traces her fingers up and down her arm and I feel them on my own. Her hands on my skin, her face close as she whispered to me that last day.

"Listen to the children playing," she had said when the school buses came. "Listen to them giggle." Her fingers ran off my skin then and her hands rested at her sides.

Cold air rises from the ground and seeps up my legs, and she moves to the window where I stand. Her eyes dark and blinking at me, she reaches up and pulls the blinds closed.

Copyright Tammy R. Kitchen 2005. Title graphic: "Curtain" Copyright The Summerset Review 2005.