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Los Angeles, California
I am 47 and thriving in Southern California. One day at a time.
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Saturday, January 25, 2014

You Can't Regift Bad Poetry [Happy Birthday, Kevin xo]

What is your birthday? And why should I care?
You tell me no presents, no fanfare, you’re lost.
But it’s the 26th my sweetheart, so I catch my breath,
And celebrate, as I do every 364 days of the rest.
Because they don’t know about us.

A beacon of blond hair, heavy bent with humility and hope,
Your suburban eighteen slickly stole this twenty-something’s heart.
A cosmopolitan crush was borne, along city streets stalked and subways fraught,
And our January-October express was caught.
Because they don’t know about us.

We romped and roved with the theatre troupes of Les Miz and Shaw,
On and off and on again, too, as thespians are apt to do.
But tethered we remained, as soul mates are apt to prove,
Bound and tied by velvet rope we choose.
Because they don’t know about us.

As Saigon fell, we rose, in work and in love, and tempers hot,
The angst of “Miss Saigon” our backdrop, its passion as our swell.
Your voice like caramel droplets, soothing all fortuitous to hear, to sop,
But none more than your wife-to-be, who soaked up every drop.
Because they don’t know about us.

We set our married sights West, cruising route 66 with beagle in tow,
Onto bigger and better we thought, well, what the F. did we know.
In the Golden State you ducted yourself, a sin, taped silent shut,
And shuttered, filtering a new career, even as I smelled silent rot.
Because they don’t know about us.

With a crack of Coke Zero and the morning tuck of a baseball cap,
You snapped and provided and peered ever closer at Spinning Top Wife.
Through unraveling capsules and fumes and self-hatred, you reached, you tried,
How many nights did She scream, cry, louder, longer than you, the silent cry.
Because they don’t know about us.

“I would have done it for anyone”, but you did it for me,
Your heart and soul already sealed, but one Cedars-Sinai dawn you gave all.
I took your kidney and more, yet more, wouldn’t, couldn’t stop,
But you wouldn’t, couldn’t let go of my hand, The Spinning Top, thank god.
Because they don’t know about us.

 Your back is no longer broken, not yet fixed, healing slow,
But our load Overwhelming is no longer yours to carry alone.
At night, we laugh and tear, squawk pillow talk not in vain,
By day, it’s no different—by shadow or sunlight—embracing wrinkles and pain.
Because they don’t know about us.

I love the things we love, Bea Arthur’s triple takes, senior hound dogs we save,
Or the things that we mock, adults who love Disney, and douche bags named “Dave”.
When I crank rock you flinch, when a banjo strums, I run; maybe we’re more different than same,
But with or without you, I’m insane.
Because they don’t know about us.

What can I get you for your birthday? I’d unbutton stress from your shoulders,
And like a heavy cloak let it drop to the floor in a pile.
I’d turn on your light, the one that shines when you whisper love notes into drooping, rescued ears.
And I’d wipe strain clean from your face, a blank slate of peace and potential, the big reveal.
Because they don’t know about you.

I don’t need jewels and tiaras; on the ceramic throne I am Zen, 
You are the reason I pee, I breathe, I smile every day.
So maybe that is the gift that I give you, that you gave first, my sweet man,
I hear you sing again in the bathroom, in the shower, in the tub,
You’re unchained melodious again, and I never want it to stop;
Never want us to end.
Because they don’t know about us.

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