This is all you have, this life, this patch of ground marked by wood and water, a little strand of caterpillar silk caught on low shrubs at the wood’s edge. Everything happens here, or doesn’t happen, or is about to change. Shadows lift at dawn, noon strikes the top of the stone cherub’s head in the middle of the square. Pigeons blend in among the cobblestones. It’s not much, you think: a sleepy town, the cats in the alley, the same old men playing chess in the park; the row of tailor shops, the bakers pitching bread into the fire. The loaves get a little smaller every year, though they remain as sweet. The lovers with only one place to walk. The seawall. The pier. The post office at one end of the main street, the market at the other. Rain drips down every house post and gutter. Flowers and whitewash on grave markers. You can leave if you want, rent a room in some city crisscrossed by wires and steel. On every rooftop, gargoyles opening their mouths to the rain, drinking it all in but never filling, never filled. Crossing the street, you turn, distracted by a scent— flowering wisteria, japonica, spilling their urgent message over a stone boundary. Nothing leaves, merely decants to color, to sediment, to underlying pulse.
In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.