Tinkle of ice in lowball glasses. Perfume of cigarette smoke. Murmur of voices, drifting in from the screened porch — familiar cadence.
Darkness comes on and on, tired and tattered.
The light here leaves you / lonely, fading / as does the dusk / that takes too long / to arrive.¹
Stutter and drone of cicadas. Big rigs braking. Revving, REVVING, and passing through. A shout from somewhere. What?
Walt Disney, abandoned homework, dread of the morning to come.
My grandmother, so warmhearted. So proud of her own. Her children (sad-eyed, sighing inwardly) around her, her grandchildren sprawled in front of a television — not oblivious to it, to the way the motes of a brittle past swirl and descend. Not unmindful, no — but resigned.
what can abide as we go
who have forgotten
what is remembered altogether
eyes but not the seeing
often we did not know
that we were happy
even when we were not
how could we have told
at no distance²
¹ Kevin Young, excerpt from “Book of Hours” (2007)
² W. S. Merwin, excerpt from “Traces” (2005)