It’s that paper-thin hour just after rain, and the windows are open, and fragments of sky are visible behind a haze of leaves. One by one the lights come on in houses down the way. The odors of supper fill the air: charred meat, boiled potatoes, onions. The smell of wilted greens does not carry clean, unlike the tang of mint from the garden, the neighbor’s jasmine. A voice on the radio talks of this time last year, the soldiers raiding the fugitive’s safe house, the helicopter letting them down in the cabbage patch. The burial at sea with no witnesses. And now the neighbor is working on his back gate, taking advantage of the good hour or so of remaining light. Lately, he’s taken to smoking Cuban cigars; the sweet, leaf-smoky note adds itself to what’s gathered: an odd bouquet. He’s put in a small solar panel attached to a motion-sensor light. The frame of white plastic tilts up among the ivy. I watch as he tests it and it flickers on, a warning flare of yellow.
In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.