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Archive for October 16th, 2002

Thirty-Seven . . . The Dangerous Year

Today a cold drizzle of rain that trickles down in soft, plangent icy drops and seeps down low into the bones.

The Tree in the Front Yard whose leaves have turned bright lime green and phosphorescent yellow shimmers wetly, branches weighted with damp.

Cats mashed together in a warm furry pile on the futon . . . the season of heat-leeching has begun. Earlier this morning, each flung across the comforter like limp dishrags, heated from below by the quiet, patient ticking of the electric blanket . . . swooning in pleasure from the opiate warmth, sleeping with eyes halfway open, limbs melting into pliable honey from the heat. When I poke them, they merely grunt in acquiescence.

I should wash the dishes, I should step shiveringly into the cold, drafty porcelain of the shower, I should water the plants, I should read literary journal submissions, I should prep for tomorrow’s class, I should, I should, I should . . .

I miss the evanescent company of my insects: the violet-bodied, glittering-eyed dragonflies; the clumsy bumbling rattle of cicadas striking the windowpane; the mint-leaf winged, space-alien katydids.

A squirrel, fur standing up in moist spikes along his back, complains down at me from his tree branch with chuttering coughs — whipping his tail about in frenetic aggressive circles like plumed numchucks.

Four words: ephemera, lamentation, samovar, willow.

Strike them one by one like lit matches and cup their glow inside your hand for one moment. Feel their soft blaze, their orange heat, then blow them out.

Thirty-seven, the year Lady Murasaki called the dangerous year, approaching.

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