Self Portrait, after the Exterminator

Today's appointment was for the annual home inspection.
      The pest control tech needed to go around to the backyard,
and from there access the crawl space to check for signs 
      of moisture or rot: perforations in beams, debris shaped like
sawdust pellets but are actually termite feces. Earth smells

are sharp there, especally after humid rain, though the flap
      of one gridded vent allows the cross-flow of air. Thankfully,
there was nothing to warrant treatment. O home ownership,
     questionable linchpin of the American Dream: ideal of domestic
space, 3BR /2BT plus driveway or garage. Jacaranda spills over 

the privacy fence for a picture-perfect kitchen view (though apron
     -sized). The realtor matched his language to your desire, then
all made alterations for some happy medium. A decade later, your 1500 
      square feet is a nest packed full of matter—perhaps a natural tendency
to optimize, to shore up for the years that march in, wearing the shape  
of emaciated cows. Your heart yearns sometimes for the pre-inhabited
       look of these rooms. Bare floors, unadorned walls, the quirky, sloped
ceiling over the reading nook before every corner spilled over with books.  
      But small is mostly a state of mind and any idea of your deprivation
unfounded, when so many walk threadbare through the world. Upstairs,

you sort socks and underwear neatly into drawers. Cupboards  
      hold various vessels and the weathervane turns, obedient 
to the wind. You decide to just heap the fallen leaves around  

the base of trees instead of raking, and lounge in an XL sweat-
      shirt and yoga pants when all that feels broken wells up
in your chest. When your spirit is zapped, you stop to rest. 

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