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.