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falling light

1. I will always want to hold my father's hand one more time and step out into the falling light. "It's getting dark out here," he tells me. "It's getting cold out here."

2. My mother made a mask. It's shaped like shapelessness. It's shaped like the overwhelming silence no single moment can contain. She wears her mask when I visit. "I think we'll have dinner in the sunset," she says. "I think we'll search for food in the empty parking lot."

3. One sister went a little south. Another sister went way east and stopped at the Atlantic. They left old names crumbling in the archives of the public library. They left old ghosts searching for stolen bicycles in the last light of Modesto.

4. I left the absence they all left to me. I left the parking garages and laundromats to freeze over in the sunset. I came west looking for someone. And found a bottle of wine to pour over loneliness and isolation and a memory that walks and talks when I try to sleep. I sleep a little less and listen to the radio louder when the sun goes down. All this dust I have gathered will break my fall.

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