You stood in the rain. And shocked in ruby reds and burning whites. The dripping rain and green leaves, bone-thin bodies. The sadness. The sadness burns into eyes like some napalm-burn dripping nuclear, hydrogen bomb. Burns like the day flames, like the night cries, like the morning moans. Like death. Like light dies.

You brought the smooth caress of French eternal pools, offering sliding, creek-like water and reflecting, bisected, mirror image-like, by crows pretending to be ducks.

The obelisk standing at the far end declaring, “I am still here.” “I am still here,” among the ruins, phallic to the end. “We have survived.”

You brought the flourishing bronze statue of a down-south General, who lived two years with Cherokees in his late teens, and founded Texas. He stood there in the dripping, gray rain, like an immortal dying soldier. Saluting the hopes of a past race and the failures of a current one.

You brought a slow, catching limp, talk of ballfields and girls, sweetness and love, babies and cohabitation, darkness and light, wills and femurs, the future and past, kings and mothers.

You brought food straight to the stomach, burning a slight hole into me, too, each time. It’s red. Clean with alcohol. “I gave you a healthy dosing of tape then.” A mix of shakes. Cleaning the plastic. You brought that casually.

You brought Eddie Murphy finding God, again. You brought care to a careless world. You brought son to father and father to son, one of each. Both at the same time.

You brought Aloe Vera to a burned neck. You brought mucous and coughing, and throwing up.

You brought all of this.

You brought late, late nights, you brought a nothing-on-TV boring baseball game.

Most importantly, you brought dusk, immortality, the neverending, field of dreams dusk, the sky streaked with quiet, red, rose.

You brought the reassuring churn of cicadas, you brought the mossy, high-browed, smooth, peonied style of East Texas high society, of mirror concrete jealousies, of golf-shirt certainties.

You brought moments, moment upon moments. You brought Greek yogurt and bananas and raisins together.

You brought a deep-set leather couch, you brought sitting side by side, like side by side hasn’t been done in years, you brought hope, you brought life.

You brought the circle of death, you brought two birds of paradise, you brought a bushy plant.

You brought abstract paintings of a little boy.

You brought slippers of an eldest son, you brought hope. You brought love. You brought a wife, a daughter, a mother, you brought daughters.

You brought reading, you brought poems, you brought novels.

You brought hope, you brought love.

You brought push-ups.

You brought bad coffee, twice.

You brought rain like full buckets emptied from the heavens by a happy God, a God tossing water by the bucketsful from his back porch over the fig, rose gardens of his back lawn, over the peonies, over the twisting, mossy, live oaks, over the lush paradise of an endless yard.

You brought alligators and bayous, you brought baseball, you brought shoes, you brought love, you brought bones, you brought hands, you brought the afterlife, you brought something like prayer, you brought misplaced lives, you brought hope.

You brought the end of debt, you brought the middle of hope, you brought families together, you brought Christmas week skitowns, you brought Thanksgiving housefuls, you brought kids: thinking, feeling, walking uncertain grounds, battling through, looking for life in everything they encounter, trying to find a meaning that will last, that will take them to the ends of the earth and back, in one piece, up-held strong.

You brought money, clothes, the ideas of, you brought wanting to be better, you brought hope, you brought life, you brought love.

You brought burned skin, you brought ionization breaking apart and coming together, you brought electric-orange liquid, you brought coughing, you brought bagfulls of Kleenex, you brought a table three-times clean. You brought hope, you brought all there is.

The days, you brought. Ten more days, you brought 10 more. You brought hope, you brought life, you brought love.

You brought little painted toes, you brought a little girl playing piano and clapping, you brought a little girl wandering a sunny pool looking for spouts of water, you brought hope.

You brought sweetness, you brought life.

You brought a jungle, you brought a man standing in a jungle, you brought a look of shared under-arching misery, bringing life and hope and love.

You brought each day to an end and each morning, each morning a big hope.

You brought a midnight hello.

You brought hunger and its opposite. You brought the world together.

You brought photos of waterfall wives, you brought pictures of little loved ones, you brought life, you brought love, you brought hope.