6 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time
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6 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time. Checkered sheets, lumberjack’s shirt thrown like a lover’s arm over the bedspread. Blistered soles thin on amazon.com carpet. Blinds open. Cherry-blossom sunrise, orange-peel clouds, sunny-side-up thrown into a gay cacophony, beams streaming down the alleys, sunripened wheatfield streets a brilliant starlit sunrise with the blinding nebulae of windshields. Below that: burnt-belly ospreys tangling, gilt tails flashing in the dawn, careening together toward the ground: a lovesong for the nest in that electric cypress tree borne of drought and cranes by the water tower. Song in the air. Throw on my shirt — emerald silk over cyan-mottled skin knotted with scars. The comfort takes the hurt out, the empty, the lonely. Let the summer come in. Cheers on the wind. Spinach and mushrooms in the pan, aromatic — mushrooms craving another, suckling the pan for fish fats and onion oils. Lay the spinach like seagrass ribbons, in unity yet each blade different. In the burner, blue afterimage of fire sparkling in your eyes — there’s nothing to burn you here. This meal is nobody’s baby, nobody’s pride. Gas, rising from the fume cap, tangles with twine-wrapped herbs drying above. Clasp the gas knob, check the flames — searing sky blue, coax them down to inlet, estuary sea green, cattail reflection sweet, burn the remaining gas then out. Come out. Out: bring bruised and braised your meal steaming outside on a plate to summer. The sky is thick with calls for flags and colour. And eat, near-violet staining on your porch, plum tree above shaking with a squirrel saturated in juice. Watch the clouds go lavender. This city is not always beautiful but today each dockside smells of salt, each forest is a refuge, each skyscraper changes the colour of the sky and convinces the weather to stay. Today the birds sing. Fork tines scrape ceramic; lay the plate among the azaleas. Let the ants lick it clean. There will be a parade today.

For pride. Pride in living, and pride in enduring. Love you.

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