What news from the front?
We are wretched with heat, disease, and discord. We cast rage and blame from our trenches and shout our withered slogans. We discharge our weapons and show our teeth.
How long will this last?
As long as we can maintain. All are righteous. None will stand down while the other stands.
Yet none can stand forever, can they?
We refuse, deny, and defy. We have become the struggle. We always have. We always will. The struggle lives forever.
But you will not. Are you exhausted?
And can there be no turn, no shift, no change that moves your foot from the rutted path?
. . . You’re drifting . . . Hello?
Maybe autumn. Wars have paused so that the armies may harvest.
You are not a farmer. What will you harvest?
Maybe memory. By the window, in the cool air, and rain on the glass. There is music.
Memory of what?
It’s there beyond my fingertips, receding quickly down the wrong end of a telescope. Maybe we aren’t meant to know what we almost know and always turn from, to spite ourselves.
But you feel it nearer as the season turns?
The heat relents. Something calls. The air feels clearer. I smell the scent of fallen apples. I cannot turn myself. The earth must turn me.