Morning erupts over the city the color of Alizarin Crimson, a new day of fire for us. Banishing whatever Gods lean over this sleeping country, whatever ones that raise the day. Who else will name each hero, shuffling awake in the blue cold of each kitchen? There is coffee to be steeped, the mouse turds to burn off between each radiator’s coils. Mouse turds forgotten under the winter furnace, her first fire. As if in the night we had forgotten ourselves, our machines, our war. The pilot light remembers, Apollo, the mouse-god, he remembers for us. I am sure he is the one that summons me each morning, “Wake up.”

Hundreds of miles away my father has been up for a good hour before me. I never call him then. I want to tell him that our lives are an anthem, starting back, by his dad, in the Black Forest. Schwarzwald pronounced in Tennessee, being sung by my son Henry sleeping in the next room. Pondering and ruinous and wide like a river. Cold and fast like a creek cutting a gash down a mountain. A song that you’re listening to right now.

There is the anthem in the memory that my body holds: the first morning hanging sheet rock is awkward and slow, by afternoon it’s as if I’ve been doing it for weeks. I couldn't tell you what sharp is, but I know it in my finger tips. The chisel is sharp, I recognize it. My hands know what to do with my saw when I am unsure. The trigger and blade guard. The teeth splashing through pine fibers.

My saw is an anthem to violence.

Not far from here is a town I have never been to named Achilles. As if Achilles could be pinpointed on a map of the Northern Neck. Achilles hemmed in by rivers flowing to the Chesapeake. Rivers piercing deep inland, old enough to be all that there is to a story. I wonder if there are cat-tails there, ratting like spearheads in the wind. I wonder if the wind in those parts ever whispers the word Revenge.