Sunset a silent H-bomb
Now a burning Saturn, now an apricot pastel dab on slate. Sun zips the sky closed behind it as it goes, now dying, now resurrecting in orange creamsicle. Color cosmologies. Gold birch leaves rattle like paper coins. Leaves crunch, clatter, gather against curbs.
Wings of a red-orange alloy on turquoise sky. Fans the color of bright fresh salmon over water toward Wisconsin. Undersides of rolling stratus waves catch light, flayed rays array like fingers. Light dies suggesting methods of its own collection, mirrors emitting perfect copies of photons, echoes.
Sunless days of fog and cloud cover
Winter stews in the background pacing. Clouds block darkness so the Institute alights in the negative. Antenna farm red nights. Three-quarters moon in overcast midnight drama. Indian Summer of the universe takes hold, metastable tendrils of summer threading into unseasonal October. Little autumn, little summer. All-Saints summer, Halcyon days, second summer. Old women’s summer, poor man’s summer. Dark by six. Black slab of the south shore like a satellite picture of itself, infected with colonies of light. Time slows to sludge, distances grow. Moonbow situation considered versus the radioactive half-life of bismuth. Conclusion: Moonbows will last until the stars collapse into black holes at the end of the universe.
Morning lake a moiré pattern of blinding waves
Cobalt sky. Wind shakes the Institute. Ripped gray sheets overtake the sun, glows like there’s UFOs up there. Impressionist dabs of blue sky. Lake Superior’s different colors wrestle in the currents like it’s lovers with the Aegean. Pale green aquamarine with whitecaps versus calm blue-gray keeping ruddy at bay. The Red Sea wants a threesome. Horizon blurs out, the lake boundless like the oceans. Three days of rain pivots to clear sky coldsnap, then snow. Winter on deck. Duluth’s true face.
The lake higher, closer, lapping at Third Street. The Hillside Co-op is beachfront property along a sandy lakewalk of rollerblades and ice cream stands. Duluth as Coney Island or Santa Cruz. Lush mountainous islands, sea stacks within kayak range. Sand castles and surfers. Pleasure boats.
All Jim Richardson’s essays here.
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