I drive west in the afternoon. In the summer a searing light brands my windshield and scorches my retinas, but today it is not summer. A falsely Caribbean sky has cozied with clouds that form as the sun prepares its goodnight kiss. Like a spent lover, all that is left are embers that, as they cool, paint the linens above with blushes, sighs, and gentle moans of color.
I imagine myself draped in expensive silks, reclining in the foreground of a Maxfield Parrish work, for this sky is a huge oil painting of surreal beauty: I want to be a perfect, permanent part.
I consider stopping the car in order to cry in the direction of it, but a line of trees obscures my view. The closest I can get to it is a halo, drawn by the sleepy sun around a warehouse near my home, as I pull into the drive.
Walking down the street without a coat, I hope to feel the last smoldering moment of its life, like I wish for the flaming leaves to cling to the trees one more day.
For a second, I think I should have called my husband to witness this, but am instantly aware of why I have not. My sky’s rampant loveliness has suddenly cooled to wistful streaks of blue and grey, reminding me of love’s inconstant nature.
published 12 January 2011