Christmas Sunset

Moon Man 1
By Ricki Mandeville
from A Thin Strand of Lights

Here’s Christmas, spilled
across the side of the mountain—
no frankincense, no myrrh,
just gold, lighting
all the trees at once

gilding you in an instant,
your face and hair
the hue of Roman coins,
your laugh the echo
of a dropped golden goblet

as you touch my 14-karat
face, my gold-leaf hair,
gifts and wrappings forgotten,
fireside forsaken, carols half sung
at the backs of our tongues.

After the light fades,
you fit yourself against me
in the high country night. There is
a long silence from the brittle sky,
the loose-strung nets of stars,
then the cellophane crackle
of pine needles beneath your feet
as you say my name
& Merry Christmas
into thin air.

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