Goodnight to James Salter, who said 'Let's get back to business, you and I.'

Lahiri said he taught her to insist upon the right words. Some of his passages had wings fluttering in my aching throat. I don't have much to add; others of my friends knew him far better. But I loved his writing, and so I loved him. And I hope if there's anything that comes after, in any form, that it is as beautiful as his sentences.

'We dash the black river, its flats smooth as stone. Not a ship, not a dinghy, not one cry of white. The water lies broken, cracked from the wind. This great estuary is wide, endless. The river is brackish, blue with the cold. It passes beneath us blurring. The sea birds hang above it, they wheel, they disappear. We flash the wide river, a dream of the past. The deeps fall behind, the bottom is paling the surface, we rush by the shallows, boats beached for the winter, desolate piers. And on wings like the gulls, soar up, turn, look back.' --from the opening to Light Years, and to which I know I will return my whole life

the sea birds hang above it