At dusk, everything blurs and softens. / From here out over the long valley, / the fields and hills pull up / the first slight sheets of evening, / as, over the next hour, / heavier, darker ones will follow.
It is a curious situation that the sea, from which life first arose, should now be threatened by the activities of one form of that life. But the sea, though changed in a sinister way, will continue to exist; the threat is rather to life itself.
It was too quiet: no bellowing of elk, no call of owls. As I opened the front door, I could smell the beef stew I’d left simmering on the stove, but there was no music, and our dog Neva did not greet me.
I didn’t know whether Grandpa knew that I knew. “My dad told me,” I said. “I’m sorry.” Grandpa got misty, then nodded and said, “He’d had enough.” To this day I believe this is the most empathetic way to understand suicide.
We always went to Dancing Pins because it was cheap and we could spend all day there, easy, no complaints. We’d go when our mom was drunk and didn’t have anyone to sleep with. She brought her own vodka in a paper bag, like it wasn’t obvious.
Man who once was a boy on a strawberry farm in Ponchatoula. / Man who pulled me onto his lap in front of his friends, / played my spine like a fiddle. / The notes were off beat, / off-key, a collection of minor chords in my teenage heart.