I’ve started to forget the colors in a sunset.
Of course I see the stereotypical gradients in my mind,
likely placed there by television or National Geographic.
It isn’t quite real, though.
Here, the skies are cloudy or full of smog
shocking to the eyes, ruining the effect.
I am lucky if I find space between buildings
to catch a glimpse of the horizon.
The most indelible memory of dusk is from childhood.
My bedroom window, facing west, filled with an orange glow.
I would squint my eyes as I tried to fall asleep
in South Carolina summer evenings
with the sun staring me in the face.
And then the sinking down over the Illinois prairie,
with nothing but sky and grass and the occasional tree,
lonely without its usual entourage.
For some reason, the sunset seems longer on the prairie,
stretched across a wider frame.
I am starved for beauty of the natural sort, here.
Except for a large body of water
that I pass at high speeds,
barely glancing over.