After Thoughts
The Poetry of J. Hodges


In the dark, again, alone in my chair, listening to Dave Koz’s “When Will I Know for Sure” as smoke billows out of an open window and into the warm night air. Relaxed, as I sip a drink and a candle glows, softly. This moment I have prepared for us. Surreal in its peaceful ambiance and loveliness.

I remember a hot tub at midnight in Anchorage at a home of friends on a mountain, sun blaring. A cocktail with a friend in Aspen after an exhausting day. The warmth of a campfire where my wife and I rested. Rested eyes in each other’s for the first time, then for many nights, suddenly and unmistakably gone.

The late-night swims with our loved ones. Something stupid said by a grandson breaking the still of the water gliding over our bodies. The embrace, wet and close, slippery and sensual. The salty kiss and a throw of a ball chased by the dog.

The sweet whisper meant only for me. Our eyes locking in the same thought. Understanding that we belonged to the other. The assurance that, no matter what, she would be there, always.

The song changes. Crystal Blue Persuasion.

“The sun is a-risen’. A new day is coming. People are changin’. Ain’t it beautiful? Don’t you give up now. Just look to your soul. Open your mind.”

Words, meant for me.

The mandolin vibrates my being and another’s whose breath I feel on my neck. Then, the faint whisper, meant only for me.