happy birthday

A giant click sounds in the empyrean distance as my fate is neatly stapled in the upper left corner. Someone carefully crosses the row of four with a fifth, this group complete. I wake slowly at the exact moment and notice a layer has been peeled off in the night, I see the long ribbon of flesh-colored masking tape discarded on the bedroom floor. The stars move me along in a dotted line, I shuffle my feet behind someone who smells old and metallic, waiting for a prize or maybe death. The boy I will marry takes a step towards me; he thinks he has momentarily lost his balance but it is the magnetic pull of our eventual meeting that causes him to lurch. The lion is allowed to paw at the wheel of fortune to divine the things I will receive and discover, birds chew up a list of things for me dreamed up and scrawled by children; the paper torn from a spiral, its bleeding ink lines starting to scab. A pendulum that has taken all year to swing starts its slow leaden descent, there is a moment where it groans, quivering at the turnaround, not daring to be inaccurate. I swing my legs forward, running into this new year, pushing with the weight of my body against this great revolving door, hamster in this widening gyre. but no, none of that is quite it; it doesn’t follow a pre-ordained celestial or social demarcation, happening in a moment, a snap of the fingers, or even because you want it to… The change happens with each day’s erosion- I recede like the oily dregs in a cup of coffee as I wait to be tossed down the drain (received) or savored (discovered.)

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