The Anatomy of a 32-Year-Old Man

What arms are these
that I have found
set gently against the
ground?

They fit just fine
and within them
is a sense of something
new.

An eastern wind
blows in
as I pluck an apple
from the tree
that I grew beside.

These arms change
in an intimate set
of seasons.

These arms
that wish to be wings
and thus move
to become them.

Flower petals fall
all around me.

I do not flinch
at death

nor do I
make myself big
in the face of its
bear.

I cup my new hands
at the end of these new arms
and pray for rain
that pools like fire.

I pray to gods
that look at me
evenly
from the other side
of a healing Earth.


every year on my birthday i write a birthday poem. “the anatomy of a ___ year old man.” thank you for reading.

Image: Joe Pilié

the anatomy of a 31-year-old man

it’s the bones that i’m thinking about. the frame. that which goes unspoken for but consistently holds me up. there is a stream that runs through green hills beneath a harsh sun. the grass has barely started to brown, to burn. and at the far edges of this still life is a frame that holds together like a family. there is a nail that trusts the wall. a wall that trusts the floors, the ceiling. light shines in through windows. i step, lifting a congregation of bone and marrow by muscle, over and again, in ten million years of motion leading to one moment where i look outside the window. my neck twisted upward to the golden sky i look for any trace of saturn and i think to myself where is it? and i answer back to myself it’s gone.

 

every year on my birthday i write a birthday poem. “the anatomy of a ___ year old man.” thank you for reading.