The Gift by Michael H. Brownstein

Michael H. Brownstein is the author of A  Slipknot into Somewhere Else (Cholla Needles press, 2018).

Slipknot into Somewhere Else 
available at:


How do we create love?

Four days from the start of winter, five days from the great Ursid meteor shower,
six days after the temperature climbed into the sixties, rain fell, froze on contact,
changed everything to white ice, clean and smooth, clean and crunchy rugged.
The man and woman stood outside of their small home, logs burning in the fireplace,
candles lit in darker corners, thick sunlight heating everything through thin windows.
It was cold outside. They listened to the scents around them, saw the sounds of life,
smelled the fresh breeze swinging through the bare trees, arms around each other,
scarves across their throats, hats light on their heads, heavy jackets open to the day.
Christmas comes in the morning, he said. I know, she answered. I never asked,
he continued. I did not ask either, she replied. I do not need anything, he said.
nor I, and she smiled and paused and let out a fog of air that dissipated quickly.
We are not like that, he began again. We are not like the air you see in this weather
when you breath. We have something stronger and we have something greater.
She turned her head to him. A glitter of light flashed through a nearby evergreen,
its needles ripe with color, each branch flickered and stopped—a pause in wind.  
I know, she answered. We have all we need. We have a flower blossom and an agate
and we have each other. He kissed her lightly. That is all I have ever needed 
and will ever need, he said. That was all they needed to say to each other,
the day fresh, the forest clean white and bright, water dripping from the eaves.

Love is created in many ways. This is one of them.


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