I Forgot Your Birthday This Year
Having had the red clay caked
To my shoe soles and crusted beneath my nails,
I could tell you the chemical composition of the soil.
Having viewed the crisp cut grass
Moving toward attention in honor of the noonday
sun, I could tell you the upright length of every blade.
(3.4 inches, 4.2 in, 4 in, 2)
Having listened to lowering cranks,
I could tell you the number of seconds past before
it reached a depth that I couldn't force my mind to go.
(1 second, 2 seconds, 3 seconds, 4)
But having been at your grave site
when they started to seal your body into the earth,
I couldn't tell you what was written on the headstone.
(I could not bring myself to look and have not since)
And now, having stood so removed
from that day that I've started to forget to mark off
your birthday on my calendar, I'm glad that I don't know.
(In any case, you deserve more than 22 years and a brief description)