You forgot it was your birthday
when the alarm went off
in its submarine deep bloop,
and you rose from a dream
where your right hand
was trapped in a tangle of fabric.
The cat rubbed her furry cheek
on your elbow, up your arm,
against your chin. Another day
of being alive. Purrr.
The day before, you forgot
it was almost your birthday,
and the day before that you forgot
it was almost, almost your birthday.
You count the week as birthday week,
share it with your sister and daughter.
You march as a triumvirate,
you ram the world.
Now as you get older, the day before
the day you were born is quiet as a long
stretch of field covered with snow,
or the fist of a peony bud.
It's so quiet, you almost don't exist
as you pour coffee, seal an envelope,
read an advertisement for soap
with those eyes your mother and father created.
You prefer it now, the day before your birthday.
The power of invisibility.
Today is your birthday,
and as your outline
fills with color and confetti,
you bop around
the landscape you painted
and see how little
of life is ever still,
how much is thrown,
how little you own.
even your eyes
- Jennifer Hill