Dogwood petals fill the gutters like a fluttering snowdrift. See the women scurry, living sacramentals, unlocked from each box. A rush of brooms and rakes sweep and scrape, purging all proof of the fleeting blooms. On low branches the skinks bask in the sun, speaking their own truth and untruth, flicking their blue tails as they turn away. Hoses uncoil to wash the gutters clean. Pinned to the sky, above the tree, a mass of bumblebees hovers and hums. Along the edge of the hill below there comes a quiet crash. Children crush plastic birds and doll hands to meet the flood of petals flowing towards the sewage drain. So soon the street is the clearest gray. Only a shadow of tree remains. Running up the hill the children pluck the skinks from the dry bark. Each box locks again. Curls glisten under glowing clouds. Thin blue worms twitch, pinched between tiny fingers and thumbs.