for my upcoming thirtieth birthday
I can feel it inside me, August rolling in like a glamorous wave before another and another and another.
I hold it tight, the small clock key winding and the little boy shoes that give blisters. I hold it tight with blue jeans and wrinkle creams. I hold my memory like a cleaning rag to my nose, and I write it down, each ugly, every moan in death, in love. I don’t want to lose it,
but my skin wants to un-tent me, flapping how it is.
But what do I have to lose in getting older, life careening me ahead like a machete in a thicket?
Because when it lifts from me, or rather I from it – when I burst out my tent into blinkless light – I’ll be a newborn kid and free to smell how really good is the heaven bread, so fragrant and familiar, so home and close that I can feel the heat. I’ll drink tall cups of the whole milk.
And then, in my hands, I will hold tightly to nothing.
Then, I will be the one all lapped up, held,
as yes I am held tightly even now, and yes, there is nothing I control even now,
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