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January 2013, vol 8, no 4

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Steven Carter


Forgive this rummaging through memory—idle musings of a 68-year-old, soon to be 69.

Musings! Fascinating word, as if my thoughts—all our thoughts—are dictated by Clio, Erato, Calliope, Melpomene and the other dutiful daughters of Memory. You would think they’d have better things to do.

Once upon a summer the pretty girl I’d passed on a footbridge in Yosemite turned as I turned and glanced back at me, smiling. To this day I ask myself why I didn’t walk up to her, introduce myself—and ask if she was spoken for (I could be that bold in those days).

For me, for us, a new world-line might’ve evolved: a tightrope to an alternative universe, changing our futures forever. I still remember the color of her eyes—blue-gray, and her dark, short hair.

And yet, and yet. . . . As twilight bathes the lake in pinks and yellows stolen from sunrise, this sodden thought:

How do I love thee? Let me not count the ways. What can be added may also be subtracted.

hands on my back
sleeping behind my eyelids
mid-summer moon