What they don’t understand about birthdays and what they never tell you is that when you’re eleven, you’re also ten, and nine, and eight, and seven, and six and five, and four, and three, and two, and one. And when you wake up on your eleventh birthday, you expect to feel eleven, but you don’t. You open your eyes and everything’s just like yesterday, only it’s today…Like some days you might say something stupid, and that’s part of you that’s still ten. Or maybe some days you need to sit on your mama’s lap because you’re scared, and that’s the part of you that’s five. And maybe one day when you’re all grown up maybe you will need to cry like as if you are three…Because the way you grow old is like an onion or like the rings inside a tree trunk.
this is when the fire would disappear,
if there was one. this is when
the door would hang loose on its hinges,
weary from leaving.
this is when we would cry,
sift dirt from diamonds in our hands,
if we could cry, if there were diamonds.
this is when the curtain would become
stray thread and tightened noose,
if we had a reason for kicking over.
this is when the sky would close,
the clouds would wave white flags in mourning,
if we had a reason for hung heads,
if we had a reason for blackness and
bruise and blinding,
but we don’t. we don’t.