Midnight's Inky Bleed

Walking Hermitage Point, some things have changed. A few houses are gone and a few are much bigger. The gravel road widens in places as if to accommodate a larger life. Some trees are missing / me / the way I was with them. Still though, the kingfisher perched on the high oak branch that leans towards the lake. And still again, the trails that ask one to remember the climb and the view and the reasons for seeking aloneness in the first place.

On the last piece of dock, the wood slats press hard into my shoulder blades. The lake quiets to the sound of spaces between the rocks along an ambling shore. My chest tracks the bear across midnight's inky bleed, and she consumes all that I offer. How many galaxies are in one bear's belly? A fish jumps, breaking glass. And yet, what if Polaris told the whole truth about where we were going?

Nowadays alcohol just makes me tired. I sip the last bottle of my favorite stout and feel disappointed it's gone. They've left to watch fireworks and I'm gratefully alone.

Earlier, when Lou showed me his garden, he said the straw bale tomatoes aren't doing so well and by the way, the dog died last week. Thank god the heart is a soft-sided muscle because what was full in the purple bean patch is now empty at his companion's grave. R.I.P Molly and tomatoes and the woman who died in an accident on the lake. How holiday noise covers the grieving masses.

I slept in the loft. Even against the forty year old dark brown shag carpeting, a handful of black wasp carcasses on the floor caught my eye next to the bed. The same knotted faces in the A-frame pine ceiling that stared me to sleep as child still looked blankly into my now older face. Bats scratched and squeaked in the attic, just like before. Although, nothing feels the same. After a confrontation with Dad whereby he acquiesced in unrepentant submission into the very old chair, Jessie shook hands with Jessica in a new alliance of faith.

Fireflies resting on daylight's window, a lone mallard skimming night's lake. Pitch forward – pull back – the axis gives nothing to the yaw.