Date of birth

This year I vow

to slow the rotation of the earth
with every golden flecked moment.
So, when you feel the dirt
under your toes settling around
your feet – know it’s simply
my breathing attempting to contain
the rotation of seas and prairie grasses.
Know it is only my mind pausing all of this:

Her, with perfectly crooked teeth.
Still weary of under-the-bed monsters,
Fingers flicking on every light as she
walks though the house.
A fury fighter of sleep, but forever
ready to melt right into my bones
when rest finally finds us both.
Near nine-year-old elbows
colliding into me during a
dreamscape of wizards and wars. 

House cats, pawing under the door,
4:45 am, meowing reminders
of the steaming coffee and beckoning
sunspots sprawled on hardwood, waiting.
The moment my arms are empty —
they are filled with purr and whiskers.
Tiny souls of the house; carriers of
whispered spells and secrets,
keeping all within safe like birds
they’ll never catch.

This claimed love-filled box of
open doors and windows,
I am inside arms of walls
that hold me in the safest lull.
A baseboard to ceiling reminder
that choosing yourself is always
the best option and without the
silence of sweet solitary dog days,
you’re never ready to share
space with another. 

Morning cheeks and the smell of
collar bones in the dusked dark.
Knuckles and knees, reduced to
super-charged solar giants pulled
to each other over and over.
And, how he stood up and kissed me
at the dinner table over a bowl of
french onion soup. All savored.
A timestamp of when all the stars
in our bodies became bookends.

Glorious, dramatically devoted
friends, that somehow pull my
true heart straight from my rhythmic
torso, knowing exactly what my unsaid
words will be – carve seer stones in poems.
Tying their lives straight to my
neurons, electric synapses 
that enhance my own eyesight
with their very own crystal ball visions.

It comes down to this:
The cliches are all true.

Year’s end kaleidoscope-quick.
Each 365 of moonrise and sunset –
better than the last – a cruel joke
mortality owns. She says, I’ll show you
better and better, just you try to make it last.
Watch me take it faster and faster
until you’re spinning out like a circus top –
life reduced to a blur of colors blending.

But this year, I’m saying no.
This year, I own the rotation.
I’ll breathe it all sludge slow.
Wind down like a spiral staircase.
Turn my mind into camera mirrors
and shine it all back to myself
in black and white and contrast.
Hang it on the wall of my heart.

Come, look.

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