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Birthday Poems

"That Ship Has Sailed" [by Terence Winch]

Terence Winch

That Ship Has Sailed

In our old life, we ate ice cream and bread
pudding. We drank glass after glass of
Grand Marnier until it made us sick.
Our libido was as big as a billboard.
Our libido was larger than a drive-in
theater screen in the middle of nowhere
playing endless adolescent pornographic
classics. We had an appetite for appetite.
We poured melted lard all over our
popcorn which we then covered
with a snowstorm of salt. We smoked,
we snorted, we cavorted with people
who were best left alone. We talked
all fucking night on the phone. We read
Keats and Yeats and all the greats
day and night. We got into fights
in pubs. We drank sixteen cups
of coffee every day. We called in sick
and spent the day in mysteries, doubts,
uncertainties. We shirked our
responsibilities without a second
thought. We ate Chinese food
and pizza for breakfast. We rode
the bus to visit friends wherever
they might be. We stole books.
We cheated, we lied, we cried.
We danced all night in the living
room around the Christmas tree.

In our new life, we try to remember
the names of the people we think
we might have slept with. We haul
the bags of frozen broccoli out
of the freezer. We light a candle
to commemorate crossing
the great divide between
the green island of the young
and the songs in our bones
that have come unsung.

August 21, 2021

July 28, 2021

June 11, 2021

June 04, 2021

June 03, 2021

June 02, 2021

June 01, 2021

May 22, 2021

May 09, 2021

March 03, 2021

October 20, 2020

September 26, 2020

July 28, 2020

July 06, 2020

June 11, 2020

June 10, 2020

June 09, 2020

June 01, 2020

May 21, 2020

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"Lively and affectionate" Publishers Weekly


I left it
on when I
left the house
for the pleasure
of coming back
ten hours later
to the greatness
of Teddy Wilson
"After You've Gone"
on the piano
in the corner
of the bedroom
as I enter
in the dark

from New and Selected Poems by David Lehman

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