The wind blows through bare branches. There is a footfall of approach. A cloud of breath. December takes my hand, lays me down in the leaf bed, lets the cold settle over me, the still and the cold, the snow, the dark.
The power here is surrender, complete abandon. The promise is nothing.
But what about firelight? The bells and the singing? What about ribbons and bows? The liquid holding light, the crush of velvet and fur and sequin?
“All that is an overlay of something else,” he says, “noise at the surface, distraction. I’m only saying what you already know. It all goes.”
“What’s the good in that?”
“It is what it is. Irrefutable”
There is no fight left in me. I am crystalline. “Fog-breathed December, what service may I be to you?”
“Hold nothing back,” he says.
I open my hands.