If I knew this would be my last summer, would I call? Send my apologies down the cracking line? Or would I let things rest, because my time left is short.
If I knew this would be my last summer, would I stay in quiet solitude, reflecting on my years? Or would I join the throngs in the streets or on the beach, and revel in what time remained.
If I knew this would be my last summer, would I find each moment as clear as cut glass, the details standing out in relief or would everything fade to a softened distillation, edges blurred and grayed.
Would I pose questions I had never asked before because I feared the answers? Or would I choose to go into the burgeoning darkness with some things left unknown.
I think if I knew my time was short, I would make the most of what I had, say I love you more and fight less. I would learn Chinese and read War and Peace and walk from here to Bakersfield, using only back roads, spending the nights in smoky taverns listening to musicians make love to their guitars under the flashing red of neon “open” signs. I would stand in fields of grain, loose soil beneath my feet, sun hot on my arms while all around me, migrant workers bent over to till and rake and harvest.
Or maybe, maybe I would do what I do now.
Mornings I would sleep in, listening to the rain on the roof. Feel the weight of the cat heavy on my hip. Saunter down to the kitchen for coffee, which I sip, looking out across the backyard at the rabbits nibbling grass and the wrens tucked into feeders, spilling seed, feeding the tree squirrels waiting patiently on the ground.
If I knew this would be my last summer, would it change anything? Or would time still slip through my fingers, drain from me like the weight of years, over in an instant, like the sun beyond the horizon, in a flash and gone.