Radiance or light or something I finally remembered that I love unconditionally. The stage lights – my skin drinking them in for sustenance – saving stardust nutrients for the long winter. Squirreling away the glow of the audience for the inevitable hibernation. This show – red and dappled diamonds, spindling glamor and vivid lines – rhinestones and pantyhose – chunky black heels and ice-white wig. Headpieces with lace and elbow-length gloves. Furs and draperies and clutches. The words that wilt out of your mouth in clipped Trans-Atlantic. Levels and emotion, fire and ice. Wheels and wonder and words – so many words. 1930’s splendor and all the glory of all that glitters. Glory, glory, I am grateful. So grateful. Let me breathe it in just a tiny bit more. Let me bake my skin in stage lights – the warmth will shatter the winter.

Words press against one another. Father sits next to me. Baby spills joyfully. Little political words slam violet-ly. Blue, red, something like green curry. Vegetables (no tofu), curtain rods, ancient carpet, rivered straws and sugar packets. Brother nods. Turpentine hangs, rings, radiance swings from the ceiling – fluorescent, pounding. I forget to put money in the meter. Father forgets what to say. Brother remembers the swell of the sea – the pound of the pavement, the rush of the wild. Baby spills joyfully. Mother, daughter, sister am I. Words press against one another. Words press into one another. Silence mounts. Words pronounce my name. I pronounce my vigilance – my freedom – my identity. Baby spills joyfully.

I am a tight ribbon on a series of days. Christmas piles and pillows and presents – wrappings, trappings – window rappings. Lovely boldness, firm hand holds. Fragrant hugs and coats. All the coats. And all the chill, the thrill of silent lights, the warmth of curdling beeswax. Fumbling with creation in my cold hands. Full of hot light and warm fire.

And the children. To say goodbye today. To their fiery souls, their chirping voices, their birdsong, their wizard eyes. Their wizened grace. Their loving desperation. Their beeswax crayons- golden-yellow, red-violet, lemon-yellow, prussian-blue. The till of wool, the oxcart breath of verses. The wilderness of wooden desks placed delicately on the ground. The turtle of a rainbow rug dragging circles from the furniture.

And this show. Billowing stage lights and all the nerves that tumble through your veins. Fire-breathing words and a voice that gets stuck in your throat. Backstage bumbling and glowing dim bulbs.

December rushed – it seems – lilypad eyes and cold button feet. Hollowed out coats waiting to be wanted. And all the trills of nut shells cracking under your feet. And all the weight of America cracking under your feet. And all the rot of the rangling circus ringing around your ears. The propaganda, the fleshless carpet bags, the windless horse race still running. Winner-less America. Wind-less weather. Manufactured weather. Geo-engineering. Manufactured fractures in our frictionless fiction of a first amendment.