West Seattle, Afternoon to Evening Effect

Fifteen years ago, when old Irv
was still hale, he told me
when we come to see him a second time

in a home he will die soon after.
We are about to see him the second time.

At Alki under scatterings of diamond,
the bay's facets vacillate
between sky blue and deep emerald.

Air is a mountain stream
too pure to drink.

Young gulls the color of sand
hang around as glittering begins
in westering sun.

Thought is a mountain stream
too pure to drink.

We make an impromptu party for Irv
with donuts. Rainier, its snow the color
of sand, presides against yellow sky.

I am not afraid.

- Brian Jerrold Koester

Brian Jerrold Koester holds an MFA from the Bennington Writing Seminars. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Louisiana Literature Journal, The Ghazal Page, HeartWood, Peacock Journal, and Poetry Pacific. He lives in Lexington, Massachusetts and has been a freelance cellist.