Academic journal article Chicago Review

From THE NATURAL HISTORY

Academic journal article Chicago Review

From THE NATURAL HISTORY

Article excerpt

September heat wave evenings and gala patio receptions, waiters with sterling trays of hors-d'oeuvres beneath magnolia arbours. Sphinx moths orbit the lights over the bar. Above, misty stars faintly through city haze. High summer maximum foliage-wild grape vine, Virginia creeper and ivy loads the treetops-oceans of leaves mounting in green banks and ledges, verdant echo of the late afternoon storm clouds above them. And she laughs, steps lightly on the sun-coined sidewalk beneath the white oaks of Wychwood. Hurricane downgraded to a tropical storm. In time-lapse radar it spirals counter-clockwise, stalled over the peninsula. A distant ocean released upon us. The wind almost saline beneath gulf-grey nimbocumulus clouds.

The green snake is singular purpose, its grace a calm sexual hypnosis. A season inviolate. We look inland, towards the distant farms from the top of a high dune at sunset. The oak canopy forms a continuous, erotic texture, wise with dreams and benign conspiracies. The twilight forest profound-moths already on the wing. Who knows what fabulous beetles will be airborne in the hot August darkness, what hosts of insects will bask in the ultraviolet lamp at the edge of the forest? The noctuid moth, the rhinocerous beetle? New copper dome on a distant condominium complex in the city, shimmering metallic orange. Mercurial pink in the late afternoon sun. Roses crumple under their own weight in the rain. Bamboo groves edge the garden. At night an underwing moth circles the light in the garage. A blue twilight so lucent with undifferentiated reverie that a walk through the city is filled with holy reverence, with completion. Heaven is a vapour that bliss exudes.

Mount Nemo. Windy August afternoon. Leaf shadows slide over the path in liquid shoals. …

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