Timothy Wojcik

In The Knotweeds

We’d lived in a small apartment in a quiet neighborhood in Queens, and while that was better than the place in Brooklyn, once we unloaded all of our things into the drafty, old Colonial, we finally realized just how cramped we’d been living, everything compressed into two hundred and fifty square feet. Juliet sat on a sagging box and looked at the mostly empty room.

“We’re gonna need more stuff,” she said.

Before we moved we’d grown things in pots on the balcony–basil, rosemary, flowers, a small lemon tree–and I had big plans for the couple acres of land that now were ours. I’d spent countless nights staring at my laptop screen reading blogs about DIY irrigation systems, natural pesticides, planting schedules, Juliet’s mind and sometimes body elsewhere entirely. My first task was going to be the most difficult: clearing out the weeds and brush in the wild, overgrown yard. I looked through the window and in the dark could just make out the understory, pulsing with life.

Juliet and I ate a frozen pizza and threw our bed together. As we lay back, under the covers she put her icy feet against mine for a moment before I could pull mine away. She turned away and shuddered.

*

We woke at sunrise groggy, our curtains in an unidentified box among the many others, and while Juliet got to unpacking box