Before dusk, the darker part of twilight,
but before twilight, which is called
the deepening obscurity,

the sunset was a brass coin, dropped into the horizon slot.
I drive straight for the white space,
the afterglow. The night is slowly being released
over the dry-baked Valley ground.

The West, turning colorless, hauls me toward it,
away from where I had a meal with my friend,

where most styles of barbed wire, bits and spurs,
quirts, and skinning knives could be seen on display.

Sami, the radio psychic, owns the air tonight,
nails the future with her breath: He's the one,
she says, expect your diamond by fall...

She doesn't tell a caller her child could die,
her mother will wander the house for years,

mumbling to God and waiting for the phone to ring.
Back in the Valley our waitress was reluctant
to bring things: bread, spoon, napkin, water?
These rituals of being alive seemed enormous
and inconsequential.

We were talking about Harlow's monkey tests:
the way Harlow's monkey babies,
being offered a choice, preferred clinging
to cloth mothers than to wire ones.

But they preferred wire mothers
to none at all. And twilight, which is now,
deepens to an inky blue.