The Presence Of Dreams
(For Amy and Diana)

all thirteen of us (plus cat and dog) cluster in kitchen center kneeing its block table like knockabout spirits to a meditation
lured by the promise of Kūčios as familiar as Old Prussian that opens with an ice-breaker pairing everyone as copartners face to episodic face to trade pluck and well wishes
so my world becomes stranger after fixated stranger waiting for eureka to spring from my head but because we are thirteen occasionally I am
a single unpaired spirit wandering the house with a Christmas wafer timid of the next encounter where I'm probable to reveal Philistine probabilities
as thoroughly as a coarse Rorschach test given to a player piano that has no choice but play its off-key part indeed need rescue
for a selfish gaffe that reveals suspicion of the upcoming meal assembled as stars are ladled into the early night and plates begin their orbit
and conversation and borscht are brought out together with deviled eggs handed round the table in the cheer of the season some turn to remembering
favorite dreams aloud (but Fred who forgets who we might never know) revealing in telling that dreams
have two stories the original fiction itself perhaps a bird's eye view of mythic evil and its vivid retelling a pulling back the veil
on a titillation of slumber so powerfull and whetting that its own near truth bounces awake and is bandied like a volley ball by the rapt assemblage
until out of narration plot meets character and hark the women — Marcia, Terri, Kathy, Nancy, Fran, Joni, Joanne — fleet fabulists of the collective plan
run on while Jonas and Josh appraise dinner on their plates delicacies of herring and koldūnai with bacon and sour cream and in watching I see in their youth my old inclination
toward smirky disregard of the insensibly tedious feasibility of dreams until chocolate cake is laid and shows itself at least partly of their presence made
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