You’ve been living for this for weeks
without knowing it:
the moment the house empties like a city in August
it forgets you exist.
Light withdraws slowly
is almost gone before you notice.
In the stillness, everything becomes itself:
the circle of white plates on the kitchen table
the serious chairs that attend them
even the roses on the papered walls
seem to open a little wider.
It looks simple: the glass vase holding
whatever is offered—
cut flowers, or the thought of them—
simple, though not easy
this waiting without hunger in the near dark
for what you may be about to receive.
— Esther Morgan, “Grace,” from Grace (Bloodaxe Books, 2011)
"In fact, one might make the case that New York would not have shone without its legions of contrary devils polishing the lights of goodness with their inexplicable opposition and resistance."
— Mark Helprin, Winter’s Tale