Illusion

I crochet scarves and blankets

with the feathery-flesh of my

white hands. Christmas presents

hand made, and wrapped around

the stretchy-statuesque covers

of second hand books. Coffee table

pictures; and children's drawings.

Christmas lights burn my eyes; they

arch my contacts when I drive in the

dark. And I am the baby of my mother's

womb. Silly and sassy, I go to see "indie"

independent films by myself in sweaters

and tennis shoes- my plainness is like stiletto

beauty against the callused coarse of a man's hands.

In that white house I slept under blankets that I

sowed myself. Beneath me, boxes of words. I frame

them on red walls and recite them instead of

making up silly cliche's for toasts; because I always

loved to speak in front of crowds.

My diary entree's are under lock and key but I

search antique stores downtown for Wedgwood

blue plates to give to my mother, who collects them

like dust on the table tops. My car slices across

ice. Crystallized. Snow flake. Little girls giggling under

the blankets beneath the candle. Fuzzy frost fills

the windows. And I never could sleep on Christmas

Eve, sitting with my feet under the hem of my

nightgown waiting at the window for my beliefs

to be proved true and not lies. I waited, watching,

withering each year after the next.

I have a memory of four boys standing out in the

fog when it was twenty-eight degree's outside.

Stalled cars for the ice on the road kept us still

and quiet and left me alone in the car while they

(so old on the outside) acted liked kids in the

amber neon of the streetlight throwing snow

balls at each other.

I have a wish, to respect the world, for I

know, even in my youth that it is greater

then myself. I slip coins and left over dollar

bills into red swinging bowls for the Salvation

Army. I remember what it was like to feel hunger

when I sat in the dark of those rooms, alone,

and running free. Freedom sickens my belly

and I give my cans away to feed others. I give

books for Christmas (second hand, but I know

how to look for the ones that could be new

as long as no one knows where they come from.)

I stay up late to hug my mother before the morning

comes. I ignore my thirst for life and go home and

make believe that my father isn't who he is. That

he didn't ever promise to disown me. Never speak

my name again. Never look into my face (even though people

say that I look just like him.) We pretend over wine glasses

and home cooked delicacies.

I open presents with the feathery-flesh of my white hands,

and smile. This is not my home but I can always

pretend.