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Letter to Myself, Dated April 2nd

 
Dearest

Here is forty, the seeds long planted

and drizzled to rot. The opening of your body

like a book, legs falling the way they’re

used to, always to the same worn pages.

Dog-eared, dog-dared, fine wrinkles frame

your corners.

 

Twenty

was nothing compared to this. All the things

you didn’t know you knew, but did anyway.

Mostly, you got lucky. Nights of motorcycles

and behind-the-eyes stars, the accidental nos,

hidden lipstick in your hand like

you owned it.

 

Remember

The world does not define anything, most of all

who you are. You are not a house. Not a dog.

Or a door or a hinge or a garden bed. If you lap

at a bowl or creak open upon arrival or settle

into your foundation, it is you and you

alone.

 

Tomorrow’s child,

At forty, you are this: bruised inner thigh,

double-doored scar. Sun-poisoned face,

wine-glass chipped tooth. The way you cry

at commercials, heartbreak, love stories,

sobbing and snuffling, eyes burnt red.

And the good too.

 

Right now you are:

That day in the wildflower meadow where

you had to pee and he had to ask you to marry him.

That day at the beach where he had to cry

and you had to end things between you.

Trying to write a poem about impossible things.

So many impossible things.

 

***

NOTES: Today is my birthday. I’ve always had a thing for birthdays, for the sense of starting anew and becoming something stronger, older, wiser. It is hard to write not only to myself, but also about myself. It makes me uncomfortable, still, which probably means it’s a good process to be going through.

Read today’s prompt by Christopher Luna (as well as the inspiration beyond poem-a-day) over at Not Without Poetry. My goal is to write a poem each day in less than 20 minutes, and without additional revision beyond the writing experience.

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