It is one of those clear nights, when it would be easy to imagine the trees, awakened by wild promises of a new moon, pulling up their roots, striding the yards back to the woods. The wind washes stars against the house; you can almost hear the silken dazzle breaking, streaming down the clapboards. Their strange and holy voices illuminate the attic where you kneel. Something small gathers shadows to itself, scuttles into the corner. In that elusive atmosphere, you find the letters, remnants of an old friendship. Their binding spell breaks; they spill into your lap. You read them again, words walking the raw edges of marriage, childbirth, protests and visions, fantasies wedged between the stones. Outside, the dark still brims with strange promises, ghosts of things undone, abandoned. You imagine new paper, rummage the drawer for a pen, a candle stub, and matches. Fingers of light brush those fragile bones shaping the vigil, trace the ribs of memories, the skin of dreams holding on, letting go.

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