That was how she put it. As the wisteria grew around the neck of the fallen buck, a hand of tree wooed an unknown number of identical chipmunks through an eye socket, while the berries were red in the meadow with the trees cut squarely behind the deserted pasture, and the early wrinkle of sunlight tested the first glass of compactible sod and bespeckled our world with a chainmail of water droplets, and the bitter currants rushed into the deep pond where the carvings had been found and where all could be so easily lost in a crisp swoon of ruddy October.

“We were only slightly crazy. To have loved to watch it happen. Remember, Danny? We were soldiers of love, really. We watched it because of love.”

Ashy blue evening clouds can begin to look like mirages where below little huts full of jovial stone hearth fires blaze for the lost. Whether they really existed or not was a matter of intention. Being received by any warm venture of hospitality was out of the question, unintentionable. We were far too lost. Lizzy’s hand was sore from using the rock. Ejections of dry leaf and dirt stung in my eyes. Tree shadows were soaking the ground in crunchy, snappy dimness. A blueberry sky, yeasty wisps of star lash, visible slightly early. Nothing more would be said of Mrs. Ghent and her ritual at the lake. The two small youths carved of walnut and despicably smiling had been burned beside the equipment. A wetness in our clothes was not something we had intentioned; we would have burned them too if it wasn’t so cold; our hands squeezed; finality in her sticky shelled fingers. The rotted stone fruit and sour leaves and ripe excrement and the poisonous gold angels’ trumpets swirled.

This is how everything would be for a long while: we would intention the movement of our years against a terrain of successively better views, all the world would be fat with color and thin with levity and once we were in Copenhagen, all the good done for the world of our personal requital would flow ten-fold through our veins and we would not need to ever tell anyone or write it down because the moons were so bright and suns were so drunk and all that went was gilded by the lilting song of some imagined Greek chorus. It was perhaps a great failure of our union through it all that neither had we dwelt in Copenhagen, nor made one mention of that day, except between the two of us, by the return of that alien smog, when every green was every color, the bitter currants rushing to meet the dark reflective flatness, the small ancestors of rodents scrambling for the stinking husks of walnuts.

No, we never went to Copenhagen. Sitting beside the leaping flames of our own fire, underneath our own slightly jovial atmospheric fingerprint, I think quietly about Mrs. Ghent’s blueberry pies with their flaky lattices, her soft, muscular legs. Lizzy is always whittling decorations in the attic.


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