They squiggle upward on a spiral staircase

to heaven, and when they

arrive they explode with joy and

shudder a booming heartbeat

that ricochets off the trees and the

buildings and takes a nose-dive

into a chest, where

it replaces a heart’s own pulse for

half a second; they

light up the whole sky, from edge to edge,

filling it with long, spindly

fingers and a delicate plume of

purple feathers, in the shape of a

mushroom cap, and these dissipate

into golden diamond shimmers that

flutter and dance and split off

in triads, and glitter like the sparkles

on a dress of a fabulous lady in an old movie; they

diffuse their glow onto the entire

audience, diffuse the attention

from the circular lights of children’s necklaces, put

everyone in the spotlight but make themselves the stars;they

leave behind a chorus of “oo” and “ah

and breathless “wow” and drunken “holy––

as if to glorify themselves through the same vessels that

they present themselves to; they give their presence to

lesser beings who are far from

worthy; and, for their time on stage, they

are deities, idols, wide-open doors

to the majestic, creatures of the night too

complex for us to understand; they

paint the pictures of perfection; they

leave a web of awe until the cycle starts



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