Christmas at the Houston House of PiesJenny Browne
… with nothing on my tongue but Halleluiah. -Leonard Cohen We leave Granny home, dozing before the surround-sound Mormon Tabernacle marathon. Oh we, like sheep. Oh what white teeth. Oh we watch a drag queen with taut triceps tongue her Lemon Icebox as three preteen Graces of goth descend into layers of French Silk. I’m always Pecan but it’s Christmas and thus the seasonal assurance of too many options. Once I hid in the garage and painted rocks for gifts as the rainbow-paneled hot air balloon hauling the breath of God roared above our yard. Our yard, clasp your hands round the open pint of paint I waved calling comeandseecomeandsee all through the house. All through the house black enamel snakes climbed walls and soaked deep into creamy shag and the aptly named Mr. Cloud came and bleached and scrubbed and rubbed his neck as that breath of God moseyed on west. This thick air can take no such open-mouthed awe so we crowd the exit to seek not the brightest star but the machine with a glinting silver hook that centers, lowers and misses another felt-bellied blue dolphin while we finger the warm quarters in our pockets and wonder if this the one round coin, square backyard, triangular fat slice of 45 possible varieties to be chosen. Once I memorized the tongue diagram so I knew how the tip was made for sweet while deep blue back-center meant bitter. Once stones could talk. Once the card on the smallest package said here’s something to keep you warm.
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