All We Want to Do is Ride

On my birthday I feel like myself.

I listen to Fairytale of New York

and The Band Played Waltzing Matilda

I wonder when I too will get back home.

The Christmas tree smells good.

My recurring dream comes back

I’m up at the top of a slide

there’s a window where you pay entrance

and you get an orange boogie board for your son,

so he can surf it down

but we forget to order the board at the window

and then we’re down at the bottom

no one has ridden

and I’m pleading with the teen behind another window

I need a board so my kid can ride down

and there are surfers and blonde kids, golden retrievers and a big flat pool

it’s all complicated and all we want to do is ride.

On my birthday every year

I long for journaling

I remember my roots in railroad moon-in-the-desert Kerouac.

Remember at the New York Public Library

when you first got sober

there was a black and white of him in the stacks

the size of an album cover?

Gorgeous handsome Jack of the 1940s

I wanted to steal that picture for inspiration

but left it there instead.

On my birthday

I always make a wish —