The night wraps us in the faint light of the glowing moon. The snow falls, reflected in the street light’s glow, and settles on the snow fields of recent days that obscure the earth that suffers beneath. We will flee tomorrow and leave the snow in our wake, hoping that on our return a week hence, some if not all of it will have washed into the lake, and we, having borne the brunt of the sun, will remember what summer will eventually offer us.
In the night what I am perched on the edge of sleep you appear, just out of the dream shadows, avoiding the light, you are featureless. I call to you and I think you must be smiling but your voice is the wind through the Austrian pines and the drip from the ever shrinking icicles that slowly abandon the eaves of the house.
The perigee moon hangs heavily over the city clinging to the horizon as though it wishes to flee deep into the night turning away the attention in inevitably draws. We are pulled toward it by some deeply felt force that we know we dare not question, for we must honor the moon’s secrets as we hope she will honor ours.
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.
In the night what I am perched on the edge of sleep you appear, just out of the dream shadows, avoiding the light, you are featureless. I call to you and I think you must be smiling but your voice is the wind through the Austrian pines and the drip from the ever shrinking icicles that slowly abandoned the eaves of the house.
The night was ripped by the lightning, the thunder piercing our dreams, awakening us to the shadow’s play on the skylight shades. As I slip back into sleep the gods turn their backs and continue to argue well into morning.