Poem: Nin Andrews
An Ode to You on Your Birthday
in the manner of David Lehman’s poem written in the manner of Pablo Neruda
Yesterday I was too lazy to tell you Happy Birthday
soI wrote an ode to birthdays, an ode to you
and your yellow Dixon Ticonderoga pencils and purple pens,
and then I was tired, so tired, I closed my eyes
and dreamt I wrote an ode to you in my sleep,
an ode to you in my dreams, an ode full
of birthday wishes and carefully wrapped gifts,
which I opened one by one. Forgive me,
but you have so many gifts!
In one there was your genius, in another a bottle
of red wine, in another a street full of rain,
and in another, a beautiful nude . . .
Samantha? Sarah? Siena? What was her name?
She said she had a headache so I dressed her
in my clothes, gave her an aspirin,
and put her to bed. And when dusk came,
I sat beside her, as still and silent as a Buddha
while the stars passed overhead, and the moon,
and I thought of you out celebrating late
or walking home alone on a lonesome country road
as I bent to kiss her, your lovely Samantha,
and her lips opened so sweetly, as did her hips.
Siena, I said. Oh my Siena!
And she called out your name.
Nin Andrews' most recent collection, Miss August, a novel-in-verse about a transgender boy growing up in the South, was published by CavanKerry Press in May 2017