Welcome the winds of avarice. Grind the gold with your teeth.

Coming of age, you gradual mystery. What is there behind a blank stare besides a desire to be known? For one a skirt, for the other, trousers. Old hands warn of mysteries, of panning for pyrite; of wilderness. So much can be said for dreams that come from arthritic joints, a haunting inside of a haunting. Ask the man who held the fire to his chest.

(Late night on the interstate, the headlights show a sign: Next Exit. There is a rendezvous in the darkness, a sudden fear warms the driver, there is nothing behind the darkness. He is alone.)

Pink shadows of spring blossoms play on the concrete as the sun speaks to the sidewalk, warming it. Uncertain footsteps carry a young girl past cafes and clothing stores to her school. The same uncertain footsteps dance unobserved. She carries a greeting card in her back pack that winks and smiles, and seems to chide by stating the obvious: Mercy for her evolution, mercy for mysteries, for beauty, mercy for love songs, mercy for the chains we wear… It is signed by her mother. It is signed by her father, grandparents, the government and her future husband. It is the same card she will sign and give to her daughter.

(Next exit.) What contentment is there in such small treasures? What happiness is found as a man reaches across the darkness for reassurance?

A friendly fear reaches back with a warm grasp. An uncertain hand hurriedly signs a card. Mercy…