Poem for a Lost Birthday
Like a lover, your life bends down and kisses your life. – Jane Hirschfield
Today you are — years old.
I followed a man
for whom I carried compliments
and a stack of graded papers
marked with “A’s.” In his house
two children sat in a tidy kitchen.
A woman with straight dark hair
moved down the hallway. I left
a handprint on the bare wall.
This man led me to a room.
He had washed my silk underwear, my
bra, a shapeless sweater that sunk
the drying rack.
“How are your silks?” he asked.
I collected my garments and became undone.
My hair grew long and changed color. The heels
of my white shoes sunk into the grass as I ran.
You can only miss what you continue to love.