Even in late September the night softens. Sifts us? Fixing fences in starlight, horses crunching hay nearby. So we have dreams that do not come true - so we have lovers who are lost in other lives - so what?
She comes up on me from behind, resting her head between my shoulders, massaging my forearms, both of us exhausted from a long night outdoors, and laughing when I say, "yeah, great, a hug but I was kinda hoping for a blowjob."
Waiting for dawn. Slicing fresh sage for bread, the garden filling our kitchen now in the hurried race against frost.
Now is all there is but once upon a time there was something else. A holiness implicit in what we forget.
I follow a little trail beside the barn past the chicken coop - empty now but for ghosts - to see how the blind horse is faring. We know our way, is perhaps the best-kept secret. When I was a monkey, people treated me like a monkey, and when I was an angel, people treated me like an angel. This land is not your land, and it belongs to nobody - this absence of possession is all there is to you and me.
Yet as 4 a.m. nears - once the holy hour, now merely a number - I yawn and grow still, gratitude puddling near my weakening heart. Dad was a shadow, Mom was lightning, and my sisters were the tears of lesser gods who did not understand what had been wrought. Language is so imprecise and yet we go on thinking we're clear, consistent, et cetera.
Walking up and down main street through gusts of my own breath, frosted maple leaves brittle underfoot. Your kiss, that specific dream, and this wholeness in which it floats, like catkins on a lake.
Everybody is asleep but me, writing, keeping faith with the old ritual, and whatever God blesses it. Fried sausage with peppers and onions on stale bread, best I can do, and at this hour - in this unlonely existence - delicious, filling, as if perfection were possible, and all along this was it.