Birthday* by Erin Vance

Mar 25, 2019

You said that thirty was the new
just like love was the new
I failed to see the difference before.

For my birthday dress
I wore a bustle of mandrake root
to multiply my selves.
I didn’t wash, it was only going to be us.

I went barefoot and barefaced,
tied my hair like a courtesan I’d seen in a painting.

I let my breasts flop
into their new decade –
crab apples about to rot.

I considered the doors:
all those damn doors,
all of the years ahead

and wondered if I’d be better off dead.

I decided I would not.

You said thirty was the new
love was the new
Now I see that you
were different before.

Leave me to rot.
Leave me to rot.

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