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Only the few who remain the same, know where they finish. He who moved far and beyond the spectrum of taught, learned to teach. A metamorphosis of being soaked him with spring rain until the summer sun warmed him with abundance. Holding high his fortune, bits trickled away in the wind like ribbons of wake in broom swept water. Muses followed, tickling the ends with their fingertips. Autumn came with sorrow. Hungry ate sorrow too full. Then, oh heavyweight with grief of winter snow, he faltered and fell like an old oak that wanted to be a willow. Falling glitter, stuck stagnant freckles on forgotten loves’ rose cheeks. Slumber and cold bare limbs creaked the only sound.

The sound of light.

Light under shadows on the clapboard face of a mustard yellow garage dim the flaking paint over the weather vein splintered wood. Dusty shadows behind the broken windowpanes cough musty memories that skate over smooth oil spots on the cracked concrete floor. Squirrels nest in the duck tailed eaves, drafting an existence.

The weeds that grow through cracks in the sidewalk know this life. Vigilant determination soothes the ache of sacrifice and bare attire. The veils of protection that shroud spirit skirt the bottom of fame. The hidden roots long under for a torn bouquet without blooms. The sun cannot shine on just one flower.

An old man named Vern, who doesn’t live there anymore was full of dementia. His unwashed skin stunk for decades under a loose sheath of cotton. Layers of rust rued loneliness worn over, never removed, hid his wasting body underneath. His new cane, fashioned from the broken old cane, propelled him onward to places. Places like the gas station, where he ate every hot packaged microwave meal, chatting up the busy patrons who shrugged crooked half smiles of uncomfortable airs back. Back to his flat of compost, waste wrappers soaked in his incontinence, found stuffed animals, broken records and empty whisky bottles littered the floor. At night, drunk, he would yell at the mice and scold the cat and sing a perfect baritone to old songs we’ll never know. When Vern was shoveled out, the cat was free. It paced in and out of the apartment crying for days, yearning. It panted and wailed, tearing into a bag of rotting stale cat food, which the mice soon devoured. A nice woman seen taking the cat said as she was leaving, ”How can someone live like that?”

Geese that lose their mates during hunting season often return to the migratory nesting place alone. They honk and wait for their mate to arrive.

New stumps of old elms line the boulevard. The face web of rings, like an old age Spiro graph sun. Trees of time elapsed decades that canopied above life events, reduced into miniature mesas of the grass line.

Songbirds whistle reverberations under an overpass bounce between the exhaust rumble of the cars that speed by. A song unheard, the sob of a child for a shoebox full of bones buried in the yard.

The usurped soliloquized eulogy echoed whispers through the vacant chamber of the cathedral. History rolled over the pews in waves, smoothing the buff waxed marble finish of the aisles, resting in worn places. A snail soul walked this life alone. Wandered more less, leaving here there and taking all none with.

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