The first purple wisteria I recall from boyhood hung on a wire outside the windows of the breakfast room next door at the home of Steve Pisaris. I loved his tall, skinny daughter, or so I thought, and I would wait beside the back door, prostrate, begging to be taken in. Perhaps it was only the flowers of spring with their sickening perfumes that had infected me. When Steve and Sophie and the three children packed up and made the move west, I went on spring after spring, leaden with desire, half-asleep, praying to die. Now I know those prayers were answered. That boy died, the brick houses deepened and darkened with rain, age, use, and finally closed their eyes and dreamed the sleep of California. I learned this only today. Wakened early in an empty house not lately battered by storms, I looked for nothing. On the surface of the rain barrel, the paled, shredded blossoms floated.