I should have seen it coming, the day broken off in the middle with only the rough edges to show. The usual afternoon coterie, blossoms on the branch, all the birds and bees. The telephone pole and redwood fence casting their steady measure of shadow, the sun so warm brushing the back of its hand against my cheek. The warmth so near that of flesh, it should have told me so. The too-blue sky mutes for a moment as I gather beneath the lassitude of the scrub pine. A mocking bird watches, like it is going to tell.
I stagger along, lumping it every step. The reach of spring so full of youth and promise it is bound to leave a bruise. I am stretched and racked with such dull melancholy, it is all I can manage to stay upright. These dirty streets and historic markers, tagged by paint and trash, threaded with sad animals and fury. This broken record of my bad moods hissing and popping behind my beady eyes. Only the losses linger. Only the shards glint and shine.
I feel deft wings pass near me. I feel the wind begin to buck and dash. The weight of the moon is aimed at the gleam in my eye. All vision is limit, connect the dots, count away the hours. All vision is suspect, once you start with all the words. Such a pretty picture they left it off the map. The cat calls stripes, the dog takes solids. They don't bluff their way into the game. I pause, like I might play a part. Then I remember just what I was, and where I am again.