Home Again

   She seems to stretch – arms around his neck, head pushed back so she’s looking to the sky, her shoulders bunch and her purpled waist appears below the edge of her jacket. Her feet trail the ground. I’d dive in. I get that urge. He leans forward instead, bends at the middle, and stops. They two hover there above the bumpy road, parallel, his feet planted, hers scraping. And he performs a bounce of some kind, from the knees, shifting her up his back and her thighs more widely around his hips. He stops again to gather himself.
   At his signal, the mean around the pair form up. With that same unsophisticated music and crooked march, the procession moves off again. I watch their slow removal. My path homeward goes in the opposite direction and when I turn around I have another one of those moments of turmoil. In this cold air the path home is a good one. That small apartment I was given is nothing much but I’ve found ways to keep warm. I even have books to read. And if I get moving quickly, this feeling of loss will pass. But what if I accepted this feeling? What if I did not impress upon myself the need for regularity? What if I listened?
   I step back closer to the water. The procession has moved on quicker than I expected. A brisk walking pace would put me back among them still.
   I step out after them.

To Walk

   For this lake, there’s not a lot to be said. Large and belly up, there are fish corpses today. They rock gently an arm’s length from where the brackish water runs aground. Failed reeds obscure the edge. Mist obscures the reach.
   Beside the water, the road is only hard in summer. In winter, as now, the trenches dug out by scrambling trucks end in thick yellow water best avoided. I keep on. At the end of this trudge is small collection of shanty stores and a restaurant. Present, theoretically, for the hypothesized return of the construction crews, who will, it has been supposed, rebegin the building of the buildings I walk beside, and possibly reclaim more of the water too. Fantasy billboards wall off the site, but the shells that will be buildings reach high. Gaping holes for windows. Some floors entirely empty. One building, little more than foundations and a scaffolding sketch of ten stories, has long threatened simply to fall over. If it did, it would have to fall across the road into the water. The site itself is too jam-packed to let it fall inside.
   My home.