I know batteries work, but have no idea how. They fit so easily in the palm, like an egg or rock with a cross and a dash at either end. The cross and the dash, my old foes from algebra, calling into question whether or not a number could exist. In the offing, Ben Franklin sends out more line for his kite, drifting it toward a thunderhead like a fly toward a certain trout in a certain river, perhaps the Merrimack. One day I will sit in a bedside darkness, with a son or daughter asking the kinds of questions that invariably come after a day of playing outside, after a washing behind the ears. Where do lightning bolts come from? What are they made of, and why are they so loud? By that time, perhaps my shelf will be equipped with manuals containing warnings about circuit breakers in the event I hazard the devil’s territory of home repair. Consider the vocabulary—electron, conductivity charge, current. I may as well talk about gods— deities in a pantheon with ever invisible qualities. ii Sitting in a wicker chair next to the bed, I will I raise my arms in the glow of a nightlight. An angel’s education, I explain begins with watching and listening. How they watched at the garden as Adam tried words for the first time, tasting each sound, savoring the name of his wife. He spoke and left ‘rose,’ ‘pelican,’ ‘lamb’ in his path. God said, ‘Go and do likewise.’ The angels tend a new garden to make up for Eden, caring for flowers and trees only they and God know. Once a day, the Spirit takes the finest of flowers and fruits, dropping them ablaze into the sun—sweetening the light the way song sweetens a word. A cloud may trap some light, storing it weeks, even months, until it grows so full and hot the light breaks out, cracking the cloud and striking the earth like a spear… and here I will pray that sleep has finally set in—what do I know about gathering light? I am all practice and no understanding, my shadow my alibi—I do not lie, but trade one ineffable for another. Where does the light go? Who gathers it and how? I return to the knowledge in my hands cradling my dad’s guitar, full of its own darkness. What was that tune he sung the fall I charged through my high school physics class, ever baffled by those crosses and dashes, so secure in the textbook, but falling from the pages of my homework and tests like ashes, like loosed glitter?