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20 THEMISSOURIREVIEW PHOTOGRAPH / Daniel Halpern I.D.H. 1921-1970 I've never felt this way before, he said, his last words, so the nurse said. I went behind the curtain and touched his hand. I thought of the drunk woman who jumped into my car as I waited for my parents outside the restaurant the day we learned of my father's illness. She lifted her dress and said, Want to feel something you've never felt before! I thought of my father putting his arms around me, needing me to carry him to the car. I remember his pale eyes looking at me. I took the last picture of him: he stood in the driveway of our house on Chandler Boulevard in a white t-shirt, looking back at the camera. The smoke of the cigar he held in his right hand turned back against his thin wrist. The curtain in the room was brown, his hand, still warm, felt nothing. Daniel Halpern 21 LIFE AMONG OTHERS / Daniel Halpern I tempt light off the bay till evening moves across the hills and presses into the city its engraver's ink. I won't say why I'm here, or why I remain without moving by day into the night. At the hotel the lights in the other rooms go on one by one, and in the garden, which overlooks the markets of the old city, the palms flap, rooted birds with green tropical wings. The guests are at tangerines and Vichy before the evening meal. While they eat I sit in front of my window, I tempt the solitary lights that go on and off on the water: lights of boats, cape lights, the lights across the water. They pile up in darkness here. It is a collection, a pastime. Now I have the chance to speak—not to explain but to return everything—your bright lives rooted to nothing more than a light seen at a distance that diminishes as it moves closer and closer. Where I am there is everything that is beautiful. It is where I started out, it is where I think of you now. From this setting of props, I return it all. ...


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