A squirrel curled lightly over a branch outside my office, dangling his tail and sleeping. In the afternoon, in the sun. Everyone I know was drowsy today--everyone here, everyone there, everyone everywhere. Everyone else I know was tetchy and irritable. A woman took a cell phone call at the bookstore and, minutes later, ripped the back room's silence with a sob and a promise to go somewhere as swiftly as she could. This afternoon, I closed my office door for the first time in weeks, curled lightly over my book, and did not sleep but did not do much waking either. But now I am awake, because it is not the afternoon, because we have turned from the sun again.

Some key parts of my near-future fate will, apparently, be decided more or less before the month is out.

Oh, love, wherever you are, I am missing you. I am one of those gaps in the light that a tree's silhouette at dusk makes. It is not a soft thing.

But then again, there is the sky, and there are those stars. And that moon both horned and fully visible, if shadowily so. And those are no small things.