The week that I arrived there was an outbreak, which put us all on edge, and I woke up with jagged breath at each night’s middle, wailing to my metal box that pinged my wails across the ocean.

The tide filled and emptied the basins around me twice daily.

The hourglass of sand I ordered on the internet arrived on time, and the days passed calendrically.

I read The Field Guide to Cape Cod and trod lightly on the lichen, which I knew my feet were capable of killing. One night, globs of algae washed up, pulsing with their own dim light.

I hadn’t meant to let in the part of me that hated me, but there it was, hovering above my folded body in the attic that was, for a spell, my home.