A single ballerina steps lightly to center stage.
She pauses; fourth position.
Spotlit and radiant with painted lips.
A pirouette. Each bead on her dress dazzles and reflects the light just once.
As she spins to face the eyes, she disappears.
I thought covering 2,791 miles of highway would be hell but it is pure rapture. At 75 mph cruising velocity, I am crushing transcontinental time-space. Telephone poles twirl by and disappear, each rotation marking a standardized increment of time and distance. Another follows and begins its rotation. At freeway speeds, forms live and die to me in rapid succession and endless number. When the dancer has been seen from every angle, she disappears into the past.
360, the last number.
The filmy crinoline of her dress floats to the ground and crumples.
At a truck stop in the Mojave dust dervishes whirl, but no Icarian dance saves them from the catacombs. I am a light wave incarnate- at least until I run out of gasoline.
Another dancer steps onto stage and turns a pirouette in the same place.
Another dress floats to the ground and crumples.
The most heavenly destination the dust can aspire to is to fall, one among many, into the sedimentary layers that build the monumental pillars and cavern walls that rise patiently toward the sun, casting long shadows over the dust devils. This dust in its humility becomes caryatid to the celestial dome.
(endless procession of dancers and falling silks).
A tear from the eye of Taurus falls, snaking golden through the universe to tickle my eye in the Mojave. It streams and coils down my neck in the eternal weep of nuclear fusion.
Layers and layers of silk stack. They slip, fold, go through geologic processes of their own. Sedimentary silk becomes metamorphic silk becomes igneous silk. Old silk compresses into silk diamonds. Silk volcanoes rupture through silk stacks, spitting wild ribbons onto stage to dance in the light and then fall again.
The audience does not blink.
I braid my hair and smoke 1 Camel in the rain. The gray mounds pile up like the air filters that my aunt used to use to keep the air in her house clean. Every few months she would take them out to replace, and they would be blanketed in wooly gristle, the alchemical distillation of the last few months’ worth of air.
A crystal piñata cracks. Sugar and tamarind scatter.
Silkquakes rift and form never-before-seen colors for a New Age of Silk: yelloise, violeen, turquettes.
A siphonophore with buttery teeth slurps a salted yolk. The audience crunches Doritos that rain down in torrents like some warty Cool Ranch manna.
There is a sphere of Venetian glass where I deposit time in patient stacks of copper discs. The sphere can hold no light- the rays pass through the translucent membrane- but it will holds these tokens until their growing weight cracks the vessel.
Some Orthodox churches dye their Easter eggs red to represent Christ's blood, shed on the cross. The shell symbolizes his sealed Tomb, and cracking the shell is his resurrection from the dead.
How does it feel to be a fetal bird, emerging for the first time from the shell into a world of light? Do you tremble with vertigo, or do you let the sun pour down your throat in streams?
Lightning strikes the sand, mocking with the insouciant perfection of a vertical line.
Whispers ripple through the weave like brush fires.