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I remember standing at the window watching the snow fall slowly through the afternoon. It was one of those April snows we used to get in Pittsburgh before America went to hell. I’d just returned from spilling my parents’ ashes in the Llano River behind their house, probably an act of thanagogic vandalism of a municipal water supply but who’s to know? And watching the snowflakes melt as fast as they hit the sidewalk I felt a bit ghostalgic, a word I may have invented for that occasion, to mark a feeling of nostalgia for another world, the one we came from and will return to, and also the feeling of affection for the dead, at least for my mother, a kind and wise woman who subtly saved me from my father, a cruel vain man whom I’ve come to accept genuinely despised me. But I didn’t hate or dislike him instead I disloved him, feeling an intense disappointment at his limitations, opportunities for love being so few in this life. And as each snowflake fell on the sidewalk immediately disappearing as if meant to live only in the air, of the air, I was feeling astralgic, a sadness for the stars that died billions of years ago whose light we see now, a homesickness for a cosmos that no longer exists. There is no lasting happiness in this world, only particles of happiness, fleeting, unpredictable, transitory as a fragrance or a falling leaf or a glance from a passerby on the street, a plain person, hardly noticeable who slips through our dreams like a cat through shadows changing us in ways we never wanted to be changed.
Michael Simms is the founder and editor of Vox Populi. His latest collection of poems is American Ash (Ragged Sky, 2020).
Copyright 2021 Michael Simms