So. So here I go. 7:30, a church bell. 731, how our old phone began. A rotary phone. We never joined anything after we moved into the trees. There was the church at first, when we lived near the river, though I remember only the basement, and then just us in the trees.
We would stay out on days like this when school ended. Last night exactly at midnight I looked up and saw a flash brighter than any planet where a satellite must have turned and reflected.
I read books about the moon. I joined a rocket club for a day. My father and I sat on folding chairs and said nothing. Neither of us wanted to go back. Then I built rockets on my own and with other boys. We taught ourselves to make them explode.
There was a stream through the woods, and a small pond where it was dammed, and discarded wagon wheels with wooden spokes. Wagon wheels with wooden spokes.
Last night out on the hill, when I saw the flash, there were fires where schoolchildren had escaped. We would make fires by the stream and sleep in trees, even in winter.
Our father smoked in cafes after work. His brows were bushy and he grumbled the Niagara Falls Gazette. Our mother read. And small and sharp. I'm reading everything she read and forgetting them, like her.
And now it's noon, the same cafe, and warm as breath. More bells. I'm dundered. A man with a telescopic lens shoots the clock tower and the rows of reconstructed homes. A woman pleads into a phone in Italian. Drums, a tattoo, and then children push brochures into hands while four teenage boys, one bass and three snares, drum up business in the original sense. Then they are gone and one violin from somewhere plays folk songs and pieces of Bach, hymns, Amazing Grace. Smoke and pigeon down.