following the flare

I walked home from work in one continuous stripe of sunlight past the canal-side patios crowded with burnt shoulders.  Past the old slanted houses with their dimpled windows squinting in this improbable burst of summer sun, and past the Domtoren  tower that jumped into 3D view as if it were embossed onto the blue. And my heart quickened inside my chest cavity with a loud whirr of gratitude.

When dinner turned out to be a pound of cherries and a single clove cigarette from the pack someone smuggled me from my Indonesian homeland, the whirr of gratitude morphed into a contented purr.

I wish that I could bottle this all up and shoot it like a flare back into last year — so that the burnt-out, frightened me would look up, see a neon glimmer in the haze and start to believe that happy life-sated days were just around the bend.

They are for you, too. See my flare?