Go ahead, now. Enjoy them. You’ve earned it. Forty-three
teardrops induced by the juice of a Meyer lemon, each
sheathed in glycerin, wadded in amber, coated in finest
Bolivian chocolate, wrapped in fourteen-karat gold leaf,
then bronzed: multiple layers of honest emotion, artifice,
tribute and gilt. Forty-three orblets, one for each time that
we’ve coupled; you know I keep track in my calendar-journal,
along with a battery of letter grades. (Suffice it to say that
we’re passing the class, but nowhere near valedictorians,
nobody’s saying farewell. We’ll both stay together for now.)
Where are you going? There’s dinner, a lamb roast with
salad, potatoes, and cake. I know you claim to dislike lamb;
you haven’t had this lamb, it’s good lamb. It’s not like it’s
ham, which you know I can’t eat, because of that picnic
from when I was five, with the bees and the badminton,
the blood on my shirt. I’d love to go out tonight, but it’s
your special day, not one of the most special ones, but still.
After we eat, we can stay home and watch that show dear
to your heart, a little too dear, with that tramp of an actress
you claim not to notice. The couch is, of course, off-limits
to you because somebody cannot cease twitching his pelvis.
I may even rub your feet, given you wash them off first,
fetid roots that they are. I’ll feed you my gift orbs like grapes.
Don’t chew them; just let them slide down into the darkness.
No worries. All things must pass, gradually. Think of me.
Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday.