THE CURIOSITIES OF DECLINE Stillness through rainy fog— car’s creep through flood pools, sidewalks padded with oak leaves cloak. Light held, luminous, grieving. This dying is no surprise. Helicopter’s flyover burr flattens through its sweep. Ferals slink the pavement’s driest line, shadows skew under streetlamp, dripping bough. Cooping in a stairwell, a panhandler’s broken shoes soak in standing water. Incense of pot smoke, cooling charcoal disorders the slow-stirring breeze. In other days, it was easy to speak of the dead. Bright day to bitter afternoon, never trust the suicide’s mythology.