today i am 24
& in this life i am the caretaker
of a cementery. the fence is rought iron
& the graves hover just above the earth
like humming birds. my shovel
is as heavy as it needs to be
& i stalk a path, thinking of last year
when i had a different life
& a cake rose from parking lot dirt
& we ate with our hands.
frosting under fingernails
& you playing music from
your phone speaker. tinny & small
a mouth perched in our ears.
my bones were less elastic. my jaw
was screwed on right. i woke up
before the sun. my insurance agent
visits me in the graveyard
to wish me a happy birthday
& to remind me of the statistical chances
of death. i tell him those things
don't happen to me. he hands me a briefcase.
i wait till he leaves to open it
& confetti spews in my face.
next year, i make a promise to myself
to let no one know my birthday.
at the far end of the graveyard
i go to a masoleum to lay down.
my dreams involve: an award ceremony,
a school shooter, & a kiss with
a high school teacher. none of it asked for.
tomorrow will be just another day
& i will try hard to think less
about my body. a bell is ringing
louder & louder. the acolyte in me
craves a chalice or a golden place
to eat a morning off of.
where are my friends? i ask
the graveyard. the tombstones
roll over like puppy dogs.
a ghost brushes past my shoulder
& i whittle the sun
with a butter knife
until it reveals its disguise
& just becomes the moon.