August Twentieth

June 10, 2008
By Bekka Woldin, Livingston, NJ

It's your birthday in a week,
Boy I Once Knew.
I don't like admitting
that I remember its date,
but I do,
even though I'll tell you that
I saw it on Facebook and
felt obliged because we agreed
to tell all our friends that we're on good terms and
it's not awkward in the least,
even though I don't answer when you call
and it is.

I remember last year,
I gave you a kiss for your birthday:
a golden kiss at dusk behind the theater,
our knuckles brushing against one another,
your lips tracing my jaw.
We were so young then,
and what little space there was
between our bodies was
crimson and thick, and
I promised you forevers
with a sleepy smile.

But time passed and rain fell,
and forevers came and went,
and soon I wasn't yours.

There's not much I can give you any more.
Something material would be tacky,
and an Iloveyou would complicate things
because I don't.
I could give you a smile,
another promise of forevers;
I could sigh nostalgic murmurs for you,
but memories are so empty.

So instead,
I kiss you in my mind
and whisper dulcet secrets
into an ear I'll never touch again.
I'll write you a poem
you'll never read
because I'll never show it to you
because you don't know I care,

and send you an email
typed with my eyes closed:
"Happy birthday, exclamation point.
Capital X, capital O, Bekka."

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