I am working on a specimen so pale it is like staring at snow from the bow of a ship in fog. I lose track of things—articulation of wing, fineness of hair—as if the moth itself disappears, but remains as an emptiness before me. Or, from its bleakness, the subtlest distinctions suddenly increase: the slightest shade lighter in white begins to breathe with a starkness that’s arresting and the very idea of color terrifies. It has snowed and the evening is blue. The herders look like buoys, like waders the water has gotten too deep around. They’ll have to swim in to shore. Their horses are patient. They love to be led from their stalls. They love to sharpen their teeth on the gate. They will stand, knees locked, for hours.
To the Left of Boom
For days, the world breaks down into a series of scenes: at the spring-fed pool on Mother’s Day, in the produce aisle, at the ball game, golden-lit, the about-to-be shattered, already doomed normal before the monster or the monster wave hits—sunshine on the canoe and glinting off the water smooth inches from the falls, innocently making a salad or taking a shower. It feels like a play today, Whistle, or like a shard of the future has lodged itself in my shoulder. Monday it’s a report on the impossible future of bananas. Tuesday it’s the story of limes held hostage by cartels. Both still appear on our shelves, but we don’t know for how long. News comes and goes, but fate is a cycle longer to unfold. The fact is, we turn and turn away. Today the world is here for us with heart-shaped peaches ripening in a brown paper bag. There’s no way to repay borrowed time, Whistle, so we spend it.