I am enraptured by the idea of those who live forever; who seek a future between pebbles on the side of the highway, in cracks on stone paths once wandered, the space between stars in the Andromeda Galaxy. In the early twilight — horizon sagging with the light of bedroom lamps, cellphone flashlights, flickering yard-lights.

The sun rises over the land; all things darkened born again as the light picks up and cuddles dew on their fuzzy napes; all the cairns that mark ghost towns, green plaques with brass words fuzzy and orange, mossy cemeteries. Is it sad? I’m still deciding. And although each twilight carries with it sorrow, if tomorrow promises joy, why cry?

A bird’s silhouette is painted on some old corrals next to an abandoned farm: roof sinking in, windows broken, setting sun glinting off abandoned furniture and an old stove. It reminds me of the memories lost — kaiser played around a kitchen table, house parties with fiddles and accordions, kisses stolen in a barn that promised to sprout family trees.

All gone.

The bird takes flight when we pull the van to the gravel shoulder and wait for the dust to pass. It’s sitting on the metal roof of a trailer. A light in the kitchen permeates the dusk as the sky slips from tangerine, to shades of black and purple. A woman washes dishes and listens to the radio. She’s staring at the old house as if she knows that ghosts walk among us.

The past stands arm-in-arm with a bright future. Even good things, it seems, come out of shuttered` bars when the railway moved south, closed libraries, or when the final memory of your hometown is lying in the dust of the rear-view mirror. — An excerpt from Fenrich’s unreleased novel, 273 Days