Like all good birthdays, it began with a pigeon.
A patient and unruly thing,
she had wedged her
feathery body betwixt the chimney and our old living-room fireplace.
So, my dad,
shovel in hand,
broke the seal between her world and ours,
as she joined us on the coffee table
for cake cutting.
Like all good birthdays, it followed with friends.
Those impatient and unruly people.
As a good Indian hostess,
I threw cupcakes into their mouths
at an incredible velocity until their
stomachs were as full as my heart.
I became drunk on tears of laughter,
and my melanin-body sunk
into a bath of sunlight.
The Sun held my hand,
The Sun hugged my body,
as I noticed the faintest bud of age
– a wrinkle –
begin to blossom around my eyes.
But, like all good birthdays, I did not want it to end.
So, when midnight came,
an impatient and unruly clock
stared back at me.
I wanted the cake to stay unsliced,
the friends to freeze-frame,
my body to be on the cusp of aging,
not to actually age.
I begged the Sun to reveal itself again,
instead it lulled me to sleep,
whispering gratitude into my ear.
My eyes closed, and I felt
those buds weighing upon my lids,
as somewhere into the night,
the pigeon cooed happily.