Toward evening parts of the sky to the southeast began to look almost blue, but the brownish gray cast remained elsewhere. All day the heavy air smelled of smoke. With dusk, stillness reigned, except for the occasional caw of a crow or chuckle of a woodpecker as the birds departed for their nesting places. Now the windows are open and the cooling night air moves very slightly, rustling a leaf now and then, lifting a sheer curtain and quickly letting it drop. The silhouettes of the trees are still stark, but they are soon to vanish as the last spillage of the sunlight drains away and the star-gathering sky darkens. The waning moon won't be up until much later. I'm anticipation the deep darkness as much as I am the coolness. But the scent of smoke is still there, as disturbing as a muttered threat.
The Poem You Asked For
by Larry Levis
My poem would eat nothing. I tried giving it water but it said no,
worrying me. Day after day, I held it up to the llight,
turning it over, but it only pressed its lips more tightly together.
It grew sullen, like a toad through with being teased. I offered it money,
my clothes, my car with a full tank. But the poem stared at the floor. Finally I cupped it in
my hands, and carried it gently out into the soft air, into the evening traffic, wondering how
to end things between us. For now it had begun breathing, putting on more and
more hard rings of flesh. And the poem demanded the food, it drank up all the water,
beat me and took my money, tore the faded clothes off my back,
said Shit, and walked slowly away, slicking its hair down.