The First Anniversary of Your Last Birthday
You loved birthdays.
Cuz the cake.
We celebrated half-birthdays.
Cuz: coconut cream, pistachio melon, German chocolate…
When I was away on my birthday,
you called: “I made your favorite–yellow butter cake with double-fudge frosting.
It was good.”
You didn’t save me any.
I made you cake on your first last birthday.
Spice cake with butter pecan frosting.
I didn’t eat it.
Your dog thought it was good.
Happy Second Last Birthday
You have the same last day as my dad.
My dad loved birthdays.
Cuz the ice cream.
He served cake with ice cream on our last visit, his birthday.
He told us, “My girlfriend made cakes in batches, kept the freezer stocked. This is the last one.”
You did the mental math, gave me a look. I understood–she’d had six last birthdays.
We stuck with the ice cream.
Happy Third Last Birthday
I come from a large family.
Siblings counted in double digits.
We shared birthdays with siblings born that same week.
But we each had a cake.
Mine was a 3-cake birthday.
That’s why you married me, I’m sure.
You and my dad are sharing your day now.
I made you spiced rum cake and toasted peach ice cream.
The dog thought it was good.
I stuck with the rum.
This piece is written in 3-6-9 form which I renamed a sixty-niner threesome. It consists of three, 69-word pieces (not counting titles) that tell a story alone and together.
It’s an art form with no home. Poets say it is not poetry but prose. Fiction authors say it’s not a story but poetry. My project, “Owned“—composed of seven chapters, each chapter a sixty-niner threesome–was published in an anthology of short stories. I submitted “Blue Harbor”, as flash fiction to the Summer Madness competition. They said it was too short to be flash and moved it to the poetry division. It won the poetry competition and was published in an anthology.
I love experimenting in that gray space between what’s proper and not.