Erica Jong

26 March 1942 / New York City

Birthdays

Next birthday
I am thirty-six,
& formed (for all intents
& purposes)
in tooth & claw.
Six books
have peeled away
all that I am
& all
that I am not;
I turn back pages now
in history's dog-eared
book, & write
of other lives.

& here you come,
pink as dawn,
rosy as the aurora borealis
blooming over Yorkshire
& the ruined abbeys
of the Lake District,
curly as a baby sheep,
hungry as a little billy
goat, cuddly
as a lap dog,
able to flex your spine
to fit inside my own,
& born
between piss
& shit.

I welcome you
with all my breath
& guts;
I hallelujah
to your eyes, your heart,
your tender toes.
May I keep growing younger
with your years
until, when you are just my age,
or more, I have gone back to zero
& am ready,
perhaps then,
to be reborn.
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