I don't know where it comes from. The windows opened to the dirty street? The walls and ceiling, slowly disintegrating? Our own skin? Wherever it comes from, it goes everywhere. The white sink basin in the bathroom wilts to grey. The floor grits under our bare feet. In the tassels of the rug, my long hairs are tangled like kelp washed up on the sand. A colony of dust bunnies grows up in the shelter of the shed hair. I wonder if by sweeping, sweeping, sweeping, I am thwarting the emergence of a new and microscopic civilization that lives off of dirt and discarded skin.
When the broom goes back in the corner and the rag goes into the bucket, the floor reflects the afternoon light, unclouded. I close the windows and study the walls, wondering when the next dust-storm will come. I think I can smell it in the air, on my fingertips.