The outhouse used to face west—I know because whoever had the task of moving it didn’t finish the job. That is, I fell in the old hole before it was filled.
Now it’s higher up the hill and faces the south, looking out on the mountains. That’s why I leave the door open—it’s a relieving view.
Sometimes I imagine someone in another outhouse perched on one of the jagged mountains, looking out at me the way I am looking out at him—a fragile reflection.
Why is the mind always flooded with thoughts while defecating? I don’t know much about my body—perhaps thoughts fill the void. I grow sad when I realize that, if I’m right, dinner will replace the thoughts.
What do I know—sitting on cold wood, watching the world pass through the small space of an outhouse doorframe?
A blue jay lands on a tree in my view—the lucky bird has no idea what it’s like to be inside a wooden box. What a novel idea, a box.
I imagine a southern burst of wind—sopping up dust, blowing the outhouse over while I sit. On its back, it would surely resemble a casket.
And if the wind comes from the north, the outhouse could fall on its entrance and trap me within it—the choice between a coffin and a cage.
I heard somewhere that outhouses are prone to catch fire—on account of all the gasses. What a cruelty that would be, setting myself ablaze with kindling I produced.
I notice that I walk to the outhouse with determination and leave with idleness—it ought to be the other way around.
The trees bend on the ridge and I wonder if the outhouse knows what it once was—what a strange providence.
The bluffs beneath the trees continue to stare in one direction with indifference—if I am anything, I am a bluff.
The crescent moon sawn into the wooden door—who devised that innuendo? I’ll bet he was relieving himself. I’ll bet he chuckled just as I am now.