Friday, June 27, 2008
He couldn’t nap with her hands gone from his skin.
So he grabbed a replacement light bulb—a ladder, too—and followed the path to the gazebo. Past the shore of the lake, where a shameless bullfrog bleated for a mate, and beyond a troop of evergreens, limbs loose with amber light. Wheezing slightly, he stumbled into the bridal structure and planted the ladder’s legs onto the timbers of its floor. He sagged against the metal trunk for a moment, as his heart recollected its rhythm and age.
The crack of an overhead jet rattled the joists as he mounted the ladder's steps. The lamp moaned and swayed, while vibrations crunched the arthritis in his hips. An aftershock jounced him as the heavens ripped open, and, drunk in the knees, he seized the lamp’s chain with both hands. The need to pee was urgent upon him, while something darker licked at his loins. His intention scattered like feathers, even as he detached the bulb from its thread, and paused.
Spider webs whispered under the roar, while shadows stretched and swarmed.
He looked up. Into a splinter of light.
She came to him a little wild.
He was neither wise nor tender.
Their mouths and bodies laid open and panting, like the ruby throats of baby birds.
His hands reached out to touch her hair.
Falling backward, and then down, he glimpsed a face in the pointed gap between rafters and sky.
He smiled as the old bulb shattered like so many eggshells on the gazebo floor. His eyes closed while a man-made bird blazed past sight and sound.
Somewhere, above the clouds.