It would be a clear sky, he thought, that I could see the stars in. There were nights of fog. Fog barely seen in the darkness. There were stars that were hidden, and eyes that walked alone at night. It would be happy, he thought. Moonlight yellowed the clouds’ soft ocean unbroken above, but below dark clocks ticked and it was 11:59 pm in December, and his walk echoed dully on rocks that would shine for whatever small light his eyes couldn’t perceive. It was a cold lantern, unlit before an ancient gate. He shivered and walked by, finding something solid and reassuring in the steady leather rise and fall of his feet. It wouild be a moon that I could see, he thought, full and yellow a pearl as though this darkness were a shell with stone jaws silently open. He walked by a stone wall, broken, and thought of a single crystal that shone there for a moment of a passing car’s light. He coughed. All the earth was thick and muddied in a calm that wouldn’t blow the night away. The wall has stood that way before his birth. It had been fine at first. He had been young and alive, and there had been children playing in the sunshine on grass that called all the world green. There had been a lake of sky blue resting peacefully before woods that wouldn’t echo. There had been sunlight, but he had had it framed for a window, and he had sat within its room in a corner, brooding. There had been a woman wo would leave him. It was a wooden cottage in the country, and she would go away. Because she couldn’t see it, he thought her love was obscured. Dark frowns and angry words made their places in his thoughts and died as he spat them in the corner. She was going and there was nothing he could do. It had seemed senseless to him. Why would the sun stop shining, and the green dissolve as though in to a great shadow? He had decided to do something; he had told her to go, and she had gone, and the window had closed. Walking, he thought that she might return if he could catch a star’s reflection in a lake, and listen to it, calling out his love for her. He walked, listening in the dark, as though there were a distance that drew him. He had been there for a long time and still it was dark at night. Would it ever break? No, said the stone that knew what it wanted, like dirt it never falls, never having risen.
1 January 1972