The moment shatters, opened wide by that sharp laugh. That abrupt call falling against the hush of the rain, guttering the gray as it lapses into black. The whole sky seems a riot, the calm scattered like some less enduring flock. For a moment the world is endless. For an instant life is all there is.
I mind my place, shivering along the edge of the storm, the last place culture lives and still stays dry. I keep my council, wrapped in a bundle in a pocket, barely as warm as the breath I spend. I arrive before the caterwaul, that place between the pacing of the strays and the cooling of the rain. I wait along this ancient course, carrying shadow and shroud, tending whatever fire I can find. Every story seems to start along this road. Every day departs the same.
This is the rain keeping its schedule, my company always this kindly unrequite. My love always trailing off, unkempt and unsaid. This is the last sign I read as the night grinds darker, so cold and sweet. The words only there to find more words, every god a ghost in the wings. Trying to explain the world alive from the reflected drizzles of dwindling light. Trees and rain and dripping rooftops. Five crows flying west, the last birds I would know by name.