Nothing happens on a birthday
except the slow hiss of escaping gas.
Balloons do not pop, they don’t even fart across the room.
They just exhale one long exhausting collapse.
That wish, spat out over five candles or fifty,
beneath the burn of years now in, now gone.
A sugar skirted cake.
There’s a song badly sung, a sweaty crowd of mustered cheer
perhaps a clap or two.
If you’re out the job’s hoisted on listless staff.
Everything yearns to escape.
The candles to go out,
the presents to be freed, the guests to eat and leave.
There’s a wish inside you, in the dark,
one you didn’t know needed release until called forth
to extinguish yet another light.
Those wishes never come true.
They are pleas for what did not happen
not what will.
You are asked what wisdom you have,
the question always a surprise, the silence.
That’s the wisdom. The year is speechless.