The passing from lighter to darker days doesn’t have a sound so much as a scent. The lessoning of light smells like someone else’s burning clove, fresh ground coffee, freezer burnt vegetables; it’s the rubber on the bottom of a new shoe, a jug of sour wine, a moth-balled sweater. It’s like breakfast for dinner, waking up before sunrise and leaving work after sunset.

Everybody’s touching everybody else’s head, as if to say, “Think along with me. Get ready. These short days are going to happen so that the rest can feel long. And if you need it, you can always find a loop of light inside a clear bulb, whiter than the triple e icing on top of a Hostess cupcake.”