I was told the wood-burning stove was cleared out at the beginning of the summer, that it's good to use.
There is one log inside already, and it is dry, so I throw it inside, atop newspaper - how much news is enough news to burn? How many words must be printed for too much news?
I light the paper and watch it smolder, erasing itself, racing itself in the receding glow.
I think I am satisfied the news is burning.
I close the door to the stove and continue to pack glass spice jars into cardboard boxes.
When I glance up next I see smoke pouring out from the seams of the stove.
Like waves, but burning is not drowning.
I drop the jars.
allspice cayenne black sesame
chinese five spice
chili flake fennel dulse
mustard dill cilantro cumin
ginger parsley pepper
cinnamon rosemary sea salt
turmeric nutritional yeast
How many words are too many consumed?
Smoke still pours out of the stove and I am watching it from the kitchen, separate.
I am watching the smoke undulate as if I just caught something on TV.
I don't own a TV.
I don't have a landline, or cell reception, or Internet access.
I have three fire extinguishers inside.
Boxes carry how I quantify my life through my qualities. How the things I choose to preserve me act as agency, declarations on my shelves, be them in the bathroom or kitchen.
Cinnamon is good for blood sugar.
Sea salt supplies electrolytes.
Nutritional yeast is dense with Vitamin B.
I need more cardboard boxes.
pure vanilla extract
I open the door to the stove and am engulfed.
I douse the flames with seltzer. Cost: 69 cents. Flavor: Lemon-Lime. Brand: Best Value.
I close the stove door and go back to boxes and quantifying.
Later at the market I laugh about the failure, before leaving because it is too cold and my friend is hocking turnips outside. I know that at home I will turn on the electric heat and take a hot shower. I found another thermostat but don't know where it controls; or rather, I don't know where my control has been confined to so far. I will get home and turn on the electric heater I bought, which blows hot air directly on me. The room does not warm up and I do not warm up but my face can feel as if standing over a manhole as I circle myself to sleep.