On the train home riding through the countryside and I only feel the opposite of homesick. These are my last hours alone, these are my first hours alone.
That beautiful horn sighs quietly through the barren maple woods and blackbirds and up over the mountain top into the cabin of an old man lonesome with a bad back and yellow black coffee teeth and 8 and a half fingers to show for it all, all of it.
Snow flurries trapped outside try to stick to the ground or anyone else who will take them in, before falling down too far and melting in a muddy puddle under a broken bridge where a little woman now rests her head once more upon her remaining lover.
A small Italian restaurant where mama and papa still live upstairs and the dishwasher boy is outback now with his menthol cigarettes all frozen and crumpled up dollar bills and bottled pills in a torn breast pocket near his cancer riddled chest, blowing big crystal smoke rings through his fleshy cracked lips.
A horse drawn carriage with blinky lights on the back and a 15-year-old Amish boy with acne and peace fuzz at the reins making his way down to the gas station, of all places, to pick up milk and bread and eggs, of all things, after all the tornados and the diseases and the banks and the prayers ruined his family's farm.
And finally I see them, small dots, far out in the valley, wiggling their ears and bushy tails and inhaling firewood smoke through their nostrils while grazing on the dead grass with the sun coming down frozen and straight through them, those beguiling beasts
They hear something, that familiar but unknowable thing, and head back off into the damp woodland.