That Light

Philip White

 

One more hot August night.
I sit
on the barred balcony
in a wicker lawn chair

listening to what little life 
is left moving
in the heavy air. Evening's 
final color bleeds

through the birch's 
flickering cut-leaf lace. My back
to the empty
house, my face to the agonized

west, to what
you once so unpoetically
termed your side of town, 
I'm aware

of the stain of light 
trickling across my face
and arms, across the white clapboards
behind me.

When that light is dead,
and these birch fronds dangle
absolutely motionless
in the tepid air, I

will cradle my guitar in my arms,
sit back, and begin
to stroke old songs, softly,
to myself.