On The Eve Of Your Thirteen BirthdayFor Jeffrey

By Laura Boggess

the last day of twelve
was nothing special,
you said.
you didn’t dress for gym,
didn’t play four-square with
the others. only walked,
you said.

in English, you wrote
a myth…about Gusano—
it means “worm” in Spanish
you said.
this Graco-Spanish
worm-god found freedom,
you said.
but he led his people
back into the
earth to rule the Underworld
and that’s why he will
be responsible for
the zombie apocalypse.
you said.

and math was about
interest, like money and
banks, you know?
you said.
and you have homework
so you came home in
a bad mood and didn’t
want to talk about twelve
you said.

so i hushed and got out
the eggs, cracked them one-by-
one in the bowl and mixed until
those yellow eyes are gone; i
rubbed grease on the pan that is
swathed in black enamel
from years of cradling sweet
batter…and i poured more
in. you at the table building
up interest when the room
starts to smell like a birthday.

and suddenly, you are there,
beside to lick the batter from
the bowl. what time was I
born?
you said.

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