The yellow porch lamp bronzes the old man’s hair. He tells stories of places I’ve briefly been. Spilled milk from his cereal dots the table.
9 p.m. The sun’s softened incandescence beyond silhouetted trees. A child shrieks, chasing lightening bugs as they loft over the lawn.
A dog barks from a screened porch. I run on, huffing, and let him think he has chased me away. Both of us blustering. One of us knows it.
Night. The white noise of generators and turbines underlays the doppler of occasional traffic. I’m tired, eyes burning. Somewhere, a siren.
* * *
I’m in Charlottesville, Virginia, at UVA’s Summer Language Institute’s Tibetan Intensive, by which is meant “intensively intensive.” I’m hoping to get back on a regular writing schedule after the third week (we’re in the middle of our second week right now).
The slope of the park lawn, bisected by an arc of morning sun. Great spheres swinging across the expanse, emerald and deep pine.
American accent, over-accentuated on the PA at Penn Station. The train begins sub-terrain, bearing me upward slowly, swaying like a dream.
The train’s timeless moan as we pull out of Springfield. Trestle bridges past islets emerging from fog, greenery receding to gray.
Clapboard, white picket, creaking stairs. 130-year old plumbing. Leaky windows. Rugs over hardwood. Lamp-glow and diaphanous curtains.
Cathedral spires in every neighborhood of Boston. Coupled women towing children in Northampton. The word “fens,” heard after so long.
Church bells. Traffic on the avenue. The spicy scent of the fast-day tea, watered-down milk and maple syrup. Wind in the leaves. No rain.