The reason for the early morning call already guessed. I wait for it, but grief doesn't arrive. As the days slip by, my mind runs a kaleidoscopic montage.
. . . George with the kids, my cousins, on the subway in New York, going to the World's Fair before they all leave for India . . . George at our house for dinner, unwilling to eat any of the vegetarian meal I'd cooked: a lifelong aversion to tofu . . . George introducing me to a pickle and peanut butter sandwich ("You need a beer with this.") . . . George showing us the family contract that prohibited minors from sex on the premises, with a stated exemption for auto-eroticism . . . George telling us the story of accidentally crossing into Tibet, in 1966 or 67, and getting back to India only by showing the Chinese border guards his Texaco credit card (with a big red star on it) . . .
Then one morning I wake to thickening mist coming up the valley. At the window a sob takes hold of me, and there it is.
some stars already dead
on arrival –
even at light speed
now is a memory