It is that moment when the moon is a glaring crescent, slowly engulfed by the impending night — when the few clouds give out their fading glow In the jaundiced light of the sodium arc street lamp.- It nestles the curb — at first a small bird — when touched, a twisted piece of root
I want to walk into the weed-strewn aging cemetery, stand in the shadow of the expressway, peel the uncut grass from around her head- stone. I remember her arthritic hands clutching mine, in her dark, morgueish apartment, smelling of vinyl camphor borsht I saw her last in a hospital bed where they catalog and store those awaiting death, stared at the well-tubed skeleton barely indenting starched white sheets. She smiled wanly and whispershouted my name — I held my ground unable to cross the river of years unwilling to touch her outstretched hand. She had no face then, no face now, only an even fainter smell of age of camphor of lilac of must
Next to the polished headstone lies a small, twisted root. I wish it were a bird, I could place gently on the lowest branch of the old maple that oversees her slow departure.
First appeared in Legal Studies Forum, Vol. 30, No. 1-2, 2006 and in The Right to Depart, Plainview Press, 2008.
There was a time not all that long ago, he reminds me, when the event of an eclipse was a certain sign the world was ending. Prayers were offered in profusion, and the event proceeded and passed, so faith in prayer was restored, if not in astronomy. Today eclipses are viewed as just other celestial events, like meteor showers and solar flares, something to see, something to experience, but always with the knowledge that tomorrow will always be right around the corner. But the eclipse of our freedoms is something we have never seen, and many now believe the world is ending, but we should, he says, realize that like the slow passage of the earth across the face of the moon, we will emerge into the light again in due time, our prayers having been answered.
Tonight a blood moon will rise. This isn’t about lycanthropy although the moon will have the fullness that metamorphosis demands. The sky will be clouded the now crimson moon, the planet that wears the palette as its nature will lurk out of sight and we, lost in dreams, will imagine what our eyes are unable to see.
He notes with alacrity that modern man has stripped all logic from time, rendering it an arbitrary temporal system based on mechanics, and even that is quadrennially imperfect. Once it was seasons, which came and went in orderly fashion, but heating was never a science then. Later it was the moon a reusable calendar and what was an odd month here or there if the crops were in the ground. Now it is sweeping hands that carry off the dust which is all that remains of our once logic.