Inconstant Nature

by Angela Kubinec

I drive west in the afternoon, where in the summer a searing light brands my windshield and scorches my retinas.  But today I am late, so the angle of incidence burns differently.  A falsely Hayman sky has become cozied with clouds that formed as the sun prepares a goodnight kiss.  Like a spent lover, all that is left are embers that, as they cool, paint the linens above with blushes, sighs, and gentle moans of color.  I imagine myself draped in expensive silks, reclining in the foreground of a work by Maxfield Parrish, for this sky is a huge oil painting of surreal beauty, and I want to be a perfect, permanent part of it.  I consider stopping the car in order to cry in its direction, but a line of trees is obscuring my view.  The closest I can get to it, as I pull into the drive, is the halo around the warehouse across the street from my home.   Getting out of the car, I walk down the street, sweating and hoping to feel the last smoldering moment of its life, like I wish for the flaming leaves to cling to the trees for one more day in the fall.  I think for a second that I should have called my husband out to witness this thing, but I am instantly made aware of why I have not.   My sky's rampant loveliness has suddenly cooled, turned to wistful streaks of blue and grey, and reminded me of the inconstant nature of my love.