In his collection Theory of Twilight, Gary Short finds a quiet spirituality in everyday experiences, childhood memories, and natural occurrences. In poems that range in inspiration from a meditation by Basho to the stark landscapes and highways of Nevada, readers travel with Short down a highway where one encounters a schoolyard of students exercising (“scissoring into an X/ then closing to an I”) or brothers playing catch with a football (“the space between us/ filling with darkness”); where the receding glow of red taillights evokes the memory of a father smoking cigarettes in the dark, waiting for his son to come home. In the book’s title poem “Theory of Twilight,” a narrative of how a family comes together at the death of the speaker’s brother, Short’s description of the casketed body is plain-spoken and moving: “His father had touched his eyes closed, mothered / the shock of black hair from his forehead / and made into prayer, finger by finger / the hands.”
Short, Gary, "Theory of Twilight" (1994). Ahsahta Press. 34.