“on April 14th”

Some say there are days which will stick in our memory

like how to a strip of brown paper a fly might become glued;

In a child’s first words, on one’s gold-gilded birthday,

or when another first tells them, “I do”:

But as I am too young for that,

I know My day comes on April 14th.

It’s a day which creeps up on me, then it carries me over,

burrowing down like thick weeds in a garden of glass—

with fetid roots of fine sand, scratching deep through the surface,

it releases prickled pinpoints of poisonous gas:

Though the air burns like an Ifrit,

I breathe deeply on April 14th.

Its vines lengthen and grow, bearing rotted fruits which ripen

on tearful showers meant only to feed flowers in May!

“May I pluck them?” he had ask Me once where, curled like cats

on creaking boards of a kitchen, together we’d lay:

My vase lies empty in its plinth by the door

yet my heart finds the floor on April 14th.

As its bottom bakes bone-dry, I fail and try

to capture the fly with the paper I violently tear—

I see no nettles there, nor the fruit they bear,

as my retinas crack like ice in a dead-desert eye:

Once they were faucets which ran everyday for it,

but now they just leak a bit

and, at last, only ever

on April 14th.

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