— Patricia Machmiller

Evening.  We are having dinner at Maloney’s
near the harbor.  A small lamp lights the white
table linen.  Outside a night heron perches
on a tall piling.  Two western globes glide by.

Last night Al fainted.  Getting out of the hot tub
he slumped against the fence, his face slack,
his jaw dropped slightly, arms limp.  He looked dead.
Then, just as suddenly, he roused and spoke to me.
It was as if nothing had happened.

On the way back to the house, we saw the comet,
Hyakutake, a blurred splotch of light with a faint wake
fanning out behind.  Holding onto each other
we resumed our walk; a cold wind came up.


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