Florida April

The summer’s coal-long twilight glow and the loafing floating ash of stars: April, where April is the cruelest month— here—just June, machine-green palms, and heavy traffic on the highway north. Today another died. As nurses aid for the unimportant terminal ward, I was the old man’s friend for his last gasps. With the final loss of breath through strength squandered, he told me how it is at eighty-one. “Always the long push and pull of blood, always the building up, and collapse of lungs, always the mass of flesh to overcome, obese inertia and base momentum, but always too beyond all these there is the continuing earth, which outwears all its thousand forms to one equally beyond the fatigue of fine steel and the water-weariness of stone.”

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