Driving Around at Night
And what about those streetlights that flick off just as one beneath them passes, sometimes afoot, sometimes adriving? One smells it then, one's hair of the neck to full attention doth rise, thinking, as the hair of one sometimes doth, of perdition's choler, that peevish yellow light summarily executed. One suspects conspiracy. Worse though, the motion-activated dumb floods one's oligarchical neighbors mount in profusion round the walls of their estates, all they Mercedes achtunging, they Hummers humming, and, yikes, inside! Them umpteen beelzebubbish blue diodes chiseling all the hours of a day into hundreds of never slantable slivers… Lo, one's ship is dark! The sea is forbidding! One's astrolabe's ass-backwards, the sextant screwed up! Mind you, even those constellations winkling above might at their very sources be beshriven, sucking back the darkness and swallowing the light. Therefore one courses down the boulevards like a black heavy water, faster and faster, hoping, above all, not to be seen.
But He Did
The wind's slow sway held them and the decade- old, scavenged lumber treehouse and the tree it swayed them in held them also, also the story, the lie, the dead brother one he borrowed in the graveyard where they met. And the sway of the tree inside the tree- house allowed the light of the stars to leak like a slight silver rain all over them, his arm, her arm, his leg, hers, and music smoked up from a neighbor's house that summer. He borrowed the tombstone's good name and became brother to another, a soldier lost in the war he himself was bound for, and borrowed as well the treehouse itself and took her there but did not take her there. Understand, it was what she wanted too, even when he told her the truth, which was that brotherless and drafted he would go but he would not go to the war, oh no, he would not go to the war and die there. This was how they came to argue of it: her insistence on the gift of herself and his insistence he would not accept though he very much wanted to, the gift she would have been and he would not deserve. It is also how they came to be entwined, there in the sway of the treehouse and wind, there in the imperceptible motions of history and the light of the stars, where he swore would never lie again.