Tonight my wife sits in the apple tree because this is the way things progress. The wind moves her slightly, and of course the blossoms depart in a winsome lilt.
I soak my hands in salt water. My hands ache from work, or from the ache that work brings. I go straight to the ache from several scant weeks of work as if this toil has always been available in the periphery. It’s an ache of brassed denim and knuckles the size of rockcandy and of a heartfat that reaches back generations and that toil can never touch. This aches does not detract from a beer and a cigarette, the smell of gardenia though a north window, and a Hungarian woman in a tree.
But work is good. The unskilledness of it is cleansing. Debris is removed at the rate of creation. Time, it would seem, can only approve. What else?
June still sings to me occasionally. Her voice is muffled by her tongue running over her aching teeth the very ruin of song and decayed ballads and sweet admonition over the phone lines. I can sense the humming overhead and the crows leap off the wires and tumble in the air and the phone rings. What is stuntingly lovely is mitigated by its own violence, its own rooting through the trash, its own waking the dead. But where is she now?