Christmas in Arizona

The leaves finally shed their aging skin as I count,
slicing my silent lips and index finger across the room
like the wandering can I kicked off the front step.

As I trace my hand around the invisible axis of my mind,
the ripe olive of interweaving pine needles are
being braided like pigtails behind the glossy
glare of the crimson ornaments.

Our home feels strangely warm as the two
meet at the very center of their existence
like a pair of lovers reunited after war.

I calculate that our house
consists of a baker’s dozen,
but I guess most houses do.

We all squeeze past the bony hands
extending from the shopping lists
and sink through the circular quicksand
scribbled up and down the toy catalogs

in order to come face to face with
the same flushed cheeks as ours
rising back at us in agreement like
the quick zip of our jackets in unison
on the same day every year.