Going to Bed Best not even raise the question how long it will take for the halo of the Late Night Show you’ve just clicked off to fade from the blind of your closed eyes. You keep seeing things in the spectrum of the language in your mind now and then surfacing to the present like a swimmer for air, to pull off your tee-shirt because even with the fan blowing you feel too warm. And to find the low rumble of the plane taking off odd at this hour, perhaps with next-day cargo. Driving down a country road in Oklahoma once you pulled over to take a leak and far away from the city’s lights looked up to marvel at the stars in thick clusters, as probably we would look to heaven if we had fire in our DNA like lightning bugs, an idea that changes positions to find comfort with the body lying here in its nearly nightly rehearsal of death, which would similarly wonder where we are headed, were it not that we are already mercifully caught up in going there. You Only Live Once “but if you do it right, once is enough,” said Mae West to the tall man, looking up, her hand poised on the ample curve of her dress’s hip, which in the day was thought to be sexy. “You know,” she said to him, “I lost my reputation and I never found it.” With a little wiggle, she went on, “Hey you handsome devil you, just how tall are you?” The moment grew very gentle between them, each grinning, his cheek a little red suggesting a rural upbringing. “Why, mam,” he said, “all of six foot six inches.” “Goodness,” she breathed, wiggling again. “You know,” he said, “it’s not easy for a man over six foot, needing to bend at nearly every door frame.” Simmering the saucy dame raised a brow. She said to him, “It’s not the feet that interest me. It’s those inches.” Fire It’s burning down the house from a boy’s wish to be a hero when he grows up, calling his body, breath by breath, forth, in an ash nightmare of itself, with the walls falling in sparks and cinder around him, each step against his will—summonsed by elusive voices of trapped souls crying for help. It sears and blisters straight through his protective gear… His face is that dazed. He’s in the store I’m shopping in. And that must be his wife beside him, her eyes as miffed, maybe more to heart about the argument they’re having. That’s love. It stinks. Mere misreads gone all life or death. So burnt up nothing seems worth saving. Mightier 1940, the 22nd of June— the French have signed an armistice with Hitler. Churchill with Great Britain standing alone this Saturday at breakfast in the Chilterns— clouding with gloom. It’s such an awful scene daughter Mary dashes for her bedroom. With equal resolve, the Missus, Clementine, hearing the tea cups rattle with a slam inside the kitchen—does an about-face for her boudoir. There from a bureau drawer she seizes sheets of floral trim stationary. We’re your family, despite this ugly war… grooved with emphasis from her fountain pen, the message bound for shreds into a bin.