My husband killed himself in our kitchen, a wide-open room with a forty-gallon barrel of water standing close to the old woodstove. Beef stew was simmering in the pot when he shot a bullet into his head and dropped spread-eagled, his blood seeping slowly across the cracked linoleum. Thirty-nine years later I still can’t mop my kitchen floor. Every now and then, when the dirty paw prints, drops of spilled juice, and shadows of rain-wet soles become too much, I drop to my knees and with an oversize sponge scrub the vinyl, tile, or plank oak. I start anywhere and finish somewhere else. Every place I’ve lived is the same — it holds tight the stain of a mortal sin committed in an old farmhouse in the middle of a cold Colorado spring. No one knows this. When friends gather in my kitchen and someone drops a cracker or a bit of cheese, I say, Oh, just throw it away. You don’t want to eat off my kitchen floor.