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I don’t know what it is about light & nothing

else. There is a gas station not far

south of Binghamton that feels perched upon

a mountain. It’s not, but it’s the feeling — almost

always — that counts. I stood there once, taking

a break outside the Trailways bus from grandma’s,

smoking a cigarette while the world climbed itself

past. If I believed I would never die, I would hate

every ounce of this life. Instead, I sometimes stand

alone under the fluorescent haze of a gas station’s soft

wide plume of light, wondering why we are even alive

at all. Fumes & passersby. Menthols long since smoked

littered by my feet. Maybe the wayward memory

of my father crumpling a twenty in my hand to pay

for gas, snacks, & a couple Diet Cokes. If we are lost —

& we are — let me be among the lost, rather than

among anyone who swears they can find what is

worth being found. There is nothing out here for us

that is solid, promised, & held for as long as forever feels.

To admit this is one way to invite a kind of beauty

that surprises just at the moment it fades. This is why

I love light. It comes — but then it goes away.