I have been thinking about haystacks. I have been thinking about toothpicks and boxes and lampshades made of varnished toothpicks. Birdcages, covered matchboxes. Toothpicks. I guess they weren't used toothpicks. Who thought of toothpicks, making toothpicks out of trees? I worry about chopsticks too and the styrofoam stuff my Pho is packed in. Or nurdles-microscopic plastic bits in the ocean, way more numerous than plankton. Alan Weisman wrote a book, The World without Us, reviewed in today's NY Times Book review and he imagines humans disappearing and all the plants and animals returning. The house would founder, the way abandoned houses look. They start to slump, then grass starts growing in the gutters, windows go missing, the door sags, the steps crumble. Pretty soon, the foundation splits and a sumac grows out of the crack. All the appliances rust and fester, rats and raccoons vie for nesting space in the oven. Over it all, morning glory and blackberry run through the ruins of the garden. I expect the yellow rose to hold her own. Her spikes are legendary. She knows how to draw blood.