I am told to be grateful as I wake each morning wrapped in the unfolding blanket of dawn, shake off the moon, dying stars, and taste the beige-gray breath of incipient day.
Grateful to whom or what? To the rain that coats the pavement with its timid sheen, the birds’ silence in the settling damp, the bodies of neighbors rising, reluctant, in boxes of houses that line the street with woe and weariness?
Let me drink strong coffee, toast my bread with dailiness, uncurl myself to a day lit only by a hidden sun. I might have been rich or famous, cured cancer, saved the world. For now, let me watch butter melt as a golden flower.
You stand side by side, i miei cugini, the Italian version of "American Gothic" bisected by iron security gates, to watch us snaking in inches toward X-ray machines. Your eyes glisten like the last buds of autumn. We carry the luggage of your love. It weighs nothing. But when the plane lifts into the night sky, only the moon has more luminescence, more weight than my heart