Geometry of Birthdays
You are sitting in the middle of the rug
fitting geometric figures over poles, the holes
impossibly small, and yet, you stack them
to the top with steady hands, oblivious
to the exhilaration in my muscles, my bones,
in the still between each breath, unaware of
the flare of my heart as I rush past like a tempest
carrying balloons and streamers, the letters
that will spell out our wish for you in multicolor.
Deaf to the tune on my tongue, your name
gliding in a crescendo around the room.
Circles clack against squares. Your giggle comes
to me as air, as water, as earth, your delight
my lifeblood. Soon, the house will abound
with people, you will burrow in presents,
and amid the pandemonium, you will be passed
from arm to arm, lips pressed perpetually to your
cheeks, paper crown balanced atop your head,
king for a day, number one glittering like
a chest full of spent days just out of reach.
We will sing and eat and commiserate
the passage of time, and as you totter
around the room I will fit memories over
the pole of my mind, striving to pinpoint
the exact moment you learned how
to manipulate shapes with such precision.
Julie Weiss´s (she/her) debut chapbook, The Places We Empty, will be published by Kelsay Books in July 2021. In 2020, she was a finalist in Alexandria Quarterly´s first line poetry contest series and a finalist for The Magnolia Review´s Ink Award. In 2019 she was a Best of the Net Nominee. Her recent work appears in Montana Mouthful, Mothers Always Write, and Sheila-Na-Gig, among others, and she has poems in many anthologies, as well. Originally from California, she lives in Spain with her wife and two young children. You can find her on Twitter @colourofpoetry or on her website at https://julieweiss2001.wordpress.com/