Happy Birthday

1 August 2018

It induces such an appetite for ribs
to know I was the first person to call you honestly.
The names you’ve tried on collecting in my cheeks
like bar mix. The woody aftertaste carried over
to two burnt matches suspended in the air conditioning
with our feet up on the vinyl seats of the last
train south. Caught it by a whisker
running through the stench of cement away from another
obligated goodbye. Elope with me.
It’s another way of saying your name is a birthday cake
you never ordered. You have no other option
but to eat your way out. While the walls are on fire.
In that trendy bar. And everyone is singing.
Singing by name. And patting you on the eggshell
with a countertop. Whites frothing forth over clear liquor.
Now, all stations. My palate is filling with paper serviettes
and the violet blooms of cracked pens. There is too much to say
the words are smudging across the fleshy triangle on the back of my hand.
Navy motion draining into my stomach straight off the sloping window.
Staring back across the grey opening of the carriage floor
the woolly unspoken fills my ears with nausea and pops in a minty bubble.
To be fair, we weren’t intended to be commuted this way.

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