The DMQ Review

Copyright © 2002 Bob Dornberg

Definitions of Twilight

Civil Twilight: The Engineer

The man who had not invited me to his 70th told me the party had been small, said his young wife kept him young and his new Japanese car could outgun anyone at zero to 60, said he didn't like to think about his quadruple bypass, wasn't sure he wanted to be a grandfather, and that it was odd to be retired yet see his wife go to her office. Because the world had grown darker, he told me, and because street lights seemed too dim at night, he was finally ready to admit to being middle-aged.

Nautical Twilight: The Agent

The man in the lavender plaid shirt and purple tie said he still had his boat and did anybody want to buy a boat, said he no longer swabbed the deck or polished the brass, admitted his wife would rather go for sushi and to a movie and that he traveled too much and there were too many hotshots on the bay, and the weather was cold, and it was hard to find someone to crew. He told me he hadn't sailed in 6 months but to sell would be to admit horizons were disappearing and that he and the world had changed.

Astronomical Twilight: The Stargazer

Leaving both of the men behind, I opened the door and stepped out. In the night sky, a lemon-slice moon and Venus. Then Jupiter with icy Ganymede. Staring, I considered another Ganymede, the beautiful bad boy of Greek myths. In our local myths, the purple-tied man and the one with the perky young wife had both been beautiful bad boys. Considering the two of them, I waited until the faintest stars were visible, aware I preferred bad boys to men who reserved their passion for fast cars or boats that never left port.

Susan Terris
Copyright © 2002

Susan Terris' new collection of poetry Fire is Favorable to the Dreamer will be published by Cedar Hill Publications later this year. Other recent books include Curved Space (La Jolla Poets Press); Eye of the Holocaust (Arctos Press); and Nell's Quilt (Farrar, Straus & Giroux). Her journal publications include The Antioch Review, The Midwest Quarterly, Ploughshares, Missouri Review, Nimrod, Southern California Anthology, and Rattapallax.

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