She was the local designer for the town yellow pages. I was an amateur writer selling
door to door knock-knock jokes.
We hailed from a state without seatbelt laws, in a June observatory, watching stars grid together like letters
on a crossword puzzle.
Even after the three hour argument in the hotel bar, her face retained it’s dazzle against the psychedelic stage lights of a band called “Checkered with Love”.
A handsome man approaches and lowers his head.
“I remember the youthful dizziness of drunk” he said.
With respect, he spoke like a tv educated child. His eyes were tall dark valleys that refunded into the back seats of a pogo mind. He drew her delicate hand to a twitchy lip, then she responded with a smile as sullen as a winter’s moon.
His eyes were now turning like kaleidoscopes.
It was in the late autumn of the Birch tree fires when the Avalanche Indians had kidnapped my eldest son.
About the same time the evening scout team was fixing camp, smoke drew over head.
I entered the forest to join their tribe.
When the glowing trees undressed before me. I could see nothing, through eyes painted charcoal and soot, but her in the sanity of home, scripting memoirs over coffee, of our trip to Wyoming; the surreal forest murals of trees collapsing into the arms of each other.
Many afternoons had recycled before she could awaken those graves.
For me, there wasn’t a word I could give.
In the brisk of night, I found her staring into a rest stop mirror. Strung out under the expiring light, contemplating the inherit fault lines of old age, remembering feelings of recession, of blown kisses down rolling hills and winding telephone poles.
My son will survive the season of those nights
and arrive home years later to meet his mother with an unexpected knock. At an hour when the sun was bound for irrelevancy, they will embrace. She cries. He cries. They kiss. He turns to face the sun as it had never been seen without a density in the world- all of life’s choices had met their consequent and he stood there holding her, infinity as a man, calling back into the grand native stage.
And I would swear to you, from where I stood,
I could hear his call…