I caught a glimpse of a rising moon out the window on the way to the kitchen this evening, and suddenly it was the night of Caroline’s lost cat. Do you remember the moon that night? It played music for us and we tiptoed among the fir trees, trying not to make any kind of noise that might wake the Conklins, trespassing as we were on their property at close to two o’clock in the morning, calling in raspy whispers to that infernal cat. It was rising then too, the moon, and Adelle at home, because she hates to be out in the night air, and Caroline and Keith on their own whispered, tiptoed path somewhere to the west of us. And how it felt like a night stolen from time’s basket. Like a night from a fairy tale. The trees and brush softly aglow, the hush of the hour, the thrill of the air, and you taking me by the hand as we clambered over boulders and wound our way in and out of the banks of the small stream, secret in the shadows, trying to keep dry and to smother our laughter, and to not look at each other too closely, or too long, and yet wanting nothing else. You incredulous about Caroline and why in the world she would keep vital information in a pouch attached to the cat’s collar. And me sailing along at your side, talking us away from dangerous subjects, swollen inside with the warmth of your hand in mine. And the moon an orange ember in the sky. Maize-colored and warm and near. And we came upon that clearing all tapestried in moonlight, pinned back with glittering stars, rippled like a pool of gold, and we stood there, breathless and you took my hand in both of yours and held it to your heart. Your fingers around my wrists –as of old – where the blood ran, where life made its mysterious revolutions underneath, you used to say. And I flowed like a liquid. And my heart swam out into that glowing circle of moon and magic, and I couldn’t stop your hand from touching my hair, any more than I could stop my head from falling onto your shoulder. And you whispered my name to me there. In that insubstantial moment. Under that chimerical moon. Tonight is an infernally palpable echo.