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 —