teenage angst for a twenty-fourth birthday
is not a joke i should make.

the dichotomy of my twenty-second—
when i lived and died and juxtaposed
a decade of suicidal ideation and
the first day of joyful survival—
when i could not reconcile
years of self-loathing with
one day of self-esteem—
when the superposition
of deserving and not
decided my day by indecision…

and with a washcloth under a raincoat,
i bused to see a nocturnal father
just to say,

“It’s my birthday.”

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