Dear Boy—you are this kind of wonder in the dark:
______I’ve spent the evening
on the back-porch, smoking in soft complaint,
comparing old pleasures of places I have lived:—
______how I leave something
important behind and know the fact
once I’ve caught its absence broadcasted
______by new towns.
Inland Oregon made me miss the shoreline—
the saline scene of barnacled rocks stacked
______along Commencement Bay.
I despised the low rise of the Allegheny Ridge,
which was another way of remembering
______the West, registering the loss
of Mt. Hood, and Mt. Rainier before that—
their constant loom fixing me from the horizon.
______And tonight it’s the thinness
of these Arkansas fireflies, learning me just
how flooded with light our Pennsylvania yard became.
______As if on cue, you come bombing
out the backdoor, two flashlights in hand,
and run deep into the August dark, where
______you invent some swirling dance
that frames your face in a turning I can’t describe.
From beyond an Ozark oak, I know you—:
______the erasure of my face
lit brilliant by the country of your presence.