I am sitting in yellow lamplight, writing. It’s raining outside, late morning, the fourth of July. The downspout drums. Passing cars heave their sighs off the wet blacktop. This is what my wife calls my writing time. She knows not to bother me after breakfast and I close the door to my study and the pale blue light of rain filters through my windows. Now is as good a time as any to ask myself why I write, what this compulsion is to seclude myself, and sometimes to exclude myself, from the warmth of those who love me more than words can say, who love me more than anyone can love words, more than even the readers for whom I lift my head and address myself to motion like as I would speak, like as it would speak, Horatio rightly says, desexing the king, as I desex myself, already but the ghost of my own writing, a mere precondition for that which has assumed a life of its own whose life is in language not me, body or soul. When I ask myself why I must write, I know it’s because I might have spoken. Once, I might have said I love you, and I’m never letting go, no matter how many years, or decades, intervene. I write because I was too afraid to say it. I didn’t want you to see how completely I knew myself to be at your mercy, so I started work on a story I told myself I was writing for you. Something about a boy flying a kite along the shoreline. Something about being pulled out beyond the sandbar, farther and farther, into the deep. Unwilling to release his connection to the sky.