Aug 172011

A golden carafe is set before me, an inverted wasserfall rising within it, foaming at the open top of the carafe, having ascended the slick cliff-face from the flat bottom. It is boldly cold, while I am a burning rock set long enough in slow ceremonial fires to make the sweat lodge water resurrect as steam when it is poured adoringly over the hot top of my bald head. The bar at the Yosemite retreat is made of solid brunette wood, while behind me vast windows vault across the shallow cave opening, yawning wide to showcase topless cliffs and skies. I am the retina at the back of the eyeball, squatting like a practiced catcher over the optic nerve. I see all. I am nothing. Yosemite Falls flows down into me, channeled by the little cold saffron waterfall in my glass, entering deeply to become an underground river that moves noiselessly over hidden rocks and around stalactites glorious as irises should a flashlight ever find them. I am growing golden as I sip, boundless as a cornfield in Iowa, bright as Blake’s blazing designs for Beulah. Hilarity ripples up from my toes, unzippering my knees, coalescing to a culpable blush at my ears. A slice of night curves along the curve inside my stomach as I wait for little Michele to climb down the mountain, blowing a starry hungry wind through me with a two-fingered whistle, the sound empty as a uniformed conductor’s hollow hoot when the midnight train pushes from the station like toothpaste from its sloping tube. Such hunger, such emptiness! Now I am lonely and abandoned in my cave, no mother will return to my crib, tired and happy, brushing a black curl back from her worried forehead. I will die alone, an uprooted weed left to bake on the blacktop. I turn around again, facing the bar, patting my pockets for all I have lost, all the things I am going to lose. And… ah… money enough. Another golden carafe appears before me, shining in silver sweat. A sheaf of fresh wheat, a beer. I am not alone, mother is bending to the creaking crib. I can sleep.

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