Thanks to the local bradas, playing uke Friday night,
anybody’s backyard, Pauoa valley. The clink
of their green bottles drifting up to moths
dancing in the porch light guiding my way.

And to Nana who comes faithfully
to early mass every Sunday,
dressed in low-heeled-square-toed shoes,
genuflecting before a mosaic of apostles
in stained glass light guiding my way.

There are others; Japanese cops in Korean bars,
Chinatown butchers chopping char siu,
the bedridden in Leahi who outlive their children.

As I set sail on this moonless life,
I go over a riverbed of stones casting off
sparks as we touch, brief lights
illuminating the long journey ahead.
I keep an eye out for the fires.

Talk story

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