The Absence

When twilight was purple

and somehow more clear than the day—

little shadows

swooped from beyond the clouds,

like paper airplanes

gliding to the water.

Black lines, curved and graceful

rode the summer breeze—

a slippery slide.


That was when I was young—

and the fields behind the house

were vast, magic, and full of life.

I didn’t know then,

that my house was at the edge

of the unclaimed desert—

the desert, today, conquered.


Now when I look up at the night sky,

I do not see the stars.

In the evening,

there are no longer bats.