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with the night falling we are saying thank you
we are stopping on the bridges to bow from the railings
we are running out of the glass rooms
with our mouths full of food to look at the sky
and say thank you
we are standing by the water thanking it
smiling by the windows looking out
in our directions

back from a series of hospitals back from a mugging
after funerals we are saying thank you
after the news of the dead
whether or not we knew them we are saying thank you

over telephones we are saying thank you
in doorways and in the backs of cars and in elevators
remembering wars and the police at the door
and the beatings on stairs we are saying thank you
in the banks we are saying thank you
in the faces of the officials and the rich
and of all who will never change
we go on saying thank you thank you

with the animals dying around us
our lost feelings we are saying thank you
with the forests falling faster than the minutes
of our lives we are saying thank you
with the words going out like cells of a brain
with the cities growing over us
we are saying thank you faster and faster
with nobody listening we are saying thank you
we are saying thank you and waving
dark though it is

— W. S. Merwin


I’ve been writing elsewhere, in silence, and I’m not sure why. Perhaps it is the fantasy of secrecy; perhaps mere shyness. But does reason matter? What matters is: I’ve abandoned this place for far too long, and I miss this broader and more treacherous home.

Certain things are perfect. (I am not one of them, but even this is a matter of perspective; given enough times, everything disintegrates into the necessary.) Today the rain was perfect, and perfect was the day, and there was even something perfect in the sugared glass and metal tissue and throbbing lights of the car accident that slowed my slow way home.

Thanksgiving is next week. Last Thanksgiving M. was three weeks into a three month caging in a windowless detention center; this Thanksgiving it will be enough to spend together. And there is so much more, from the growing being in the belly of my sister to my marriage and slow shuffle east, from this house and our home and our hurrying business to our move and our love and our everything.

Still, no matter how much I give it, the past gulps down each new day as if starving. How can anyone stand living at the brink of the world? I keep peering over the edge, and it is dizzying.