Into the winding night, we danced. Men who were women, women who wished they could be men, a man with his eyes closed but gentlemanly nonetheless. At one point, they switched outfits on me, and I realized this experience would be a keeper. I held them all in my arms at some point or perhaps in my mind’s eye, but I held them. They lodged this night into my brain just as birthday girl’s tongue seemed to lodge itself in my throat in the best of moments. Can we be sure it wasn’t my birthday too? My best buddy seared the evening’s memory into my mind forever because pictures could not bring justice or forgiveness to the way we felt tonight as we danced. I wore a USO, golden, glittering marching band hat and tights that were misspelled. I will sit here, sipping wine, contemplating a kind of beauty I may never understand but will die trying.
Once again, pulling myself from the tangle of rhododendron roots that wound their dense fingers right into my hair until I became as close to a yeti as I could without sinking down through the rocks into Judaculla’s home. Curled up like a fat grub, a dying leaf, a star-nosed mole. Gladly I’d give myself to be just the smallest tree, a tiny sprout, a garnet-flecked pebble in the black mirrored pool below Devil’s Courthouse Falls. And, now I return from Pisgah in search of the other one who is me, the one who gave me the universe and taught me to let it go. Eyes shining into spectralite, no labordorite, I’ll brush the moss from your face until the sun reflecting blinds me into a bliss I cannot escape. Yes, this is a life worth living; you only serve to remind me of its beauty, a gift I’ve been given and must never forget.