Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Night Before's Rain

Around dinner the neighbors settle - traps set, dogs brought in - and a light breeze (redolent of distant flames, burning leaves) - reminds me of the importance of forgiveness.

Soft skies of early September: and dusk: and how I love all cusps, as if only upon them am I truly alive, truly loving.

Without anyone to either restrain me or eat, the dishes pile up: steamed corn, chili fries, sautéed broccoli, rice, fried steak, hot apple sauce, Focaccia, sliced tomatoes drizzled with melted cheddar and pressed basil, and blueberry upside down cake.

The body yes, self-identity not so much.

Stumbling around outside after midnight - double-checking the hen house, pissing near the property line to dissuade predators and in general bleary from too many nights not sleeping yet not forgetting to look up and mumble thanks.

We are not in Ireland but we were once, we were there singing and drinking and riding trains in the darkness, happy as we would not be again for a long long time.

Chrisoula comes in late and we rearrange the blankets and pillows, and the dog gets up and circles and settles, and we have to move our legs to make space, but then it's okay, it's more than okay.

One says yes - again - to Roland Barthes and then discovers that he never left but was always here informing and elucidating, which amuses him, and me too, but differently.

"What is it with you and eating pickles with your shirt off?" asks T., who lately has been visiting after dinner, the two of us sitting in the front yard with Mason pint jars of ice and whiskey and a bowl of my pickles, swatting the late summer mosquitoes and talking in the masculine code we are both - in our own ways - trying to place less emphasis on.

Oh fiction, you are always leaving me a little ashamed, a little breathy, a little wondering why I always come back.

Steak fried in butter not oil, with pepper not salt, and allowed to sit a little after on a bed of onions (which, after the steak is removed, should be eaten on crusty bread with Parmesan cheese).

When the going gets tough, the tough bake, or go to movies, or else just sit quietly doing nothing, content to let the going go, as it must, and does, always.

One bear we might see together is Ursa Major, prowling the northern horizon, pulling so many gold lights behind him.

There is a sense one has from time to time that togetherness - right togetherness - might end both war and winter.

Ginger, turmeric and mustard powder mixed with vinegar, heated up and drizzled on the sliced cucumber and onions which, after sitting like that a few hours, gets jarred and stuck in the fridge for twenty-four hours.

A dream of baby turtles, a dream of tents on battlefields, a dream of looking for the ragged sweater I had always hoped to wear when you visited.

That song and no other?

We are neither vanquished nor vanquishing, nor carrying fiddles through the ruined streets of Europe, nor selling our paintings for less than they are worth, just to make a point about commerce.

Is it possible that violence is an evolutionary byproduct of some other - some more functional - selection?

Oh and four turkey feathers on the trail as the sun rose, a prismatic spot of the night before's rain sparkling at the tip of each semen-colored calamus.

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