A POEM A DAY

I'm just happy to be here.

13/30: THE FIRST TIME I DODGED DEATH

happened after I slipped and fell
into the deep end, when the water
left no room in my lungs
for me to believe in buoyancy,
or breathing.
Who thought
a three-year-old boy
at the bottom of a pool
pretending to sleep
inside his blue dream body
could not die?
My tiny body,
a broken boat,
I could not escape,
the only thing I could do
was spill over the sides of
my sunken skin.
it happened so quick,
my cries, a pathetic ripple,
lost in the blue spool
of a hot summer day.
But, I did not die.
My oldest brother
jumped in to save me,
like a prodigal fish,
returning to the current.
This is what we mean
by sink or swim.
When death skimmed
my little life like a pelican
I was inside
a body of water,
a deluge of blue
blurring the line
between breath and death
But, I did not die.
My little unsinkable heart
crafted a life raft.
My little anchored body
uplifted by hands
belonging to a blue-eyed boy,
who would not leave me behind,
though,
we
both left the bright blue abyss,
returned back to the surface,
My body now braver
thanks to the bravado
of his own diving body,
took me against his hip,
and then we went back to earth,
and the sun kissed my face,
with big yellow lips.

 

12/30: REMEMBER THE RED POWER RANGER CAKE?

Never did I want to be more loved
than when my brothers slammed
their bedroom door in my face,
turning the lock, my heroes
tossing their cape off and me,
laying
against the door,
the annoying little brother
the anointed little bother, forgotten
But still, I knocked.
Can I come in? Please? I won’t say anything.
Through the door, laughter low like
our mother’s breathing, down the hall,
so low I have become smaller in the thrall
of it, so small, I don’t even have a name.
But if I am to grow big, I cannot beg.
I lift my legs into the sky of someday,
I pretend both my brothers have unlocked
the door, both their hands open, like an invitation,
like before, on my 4th birthday, when my mother
arranged the most perfect Chocolate Red Power Ranger Cake,
with four candles in the icing, I stood in the backyard,
the sound of song surrounding me, the air in my little
lungs spun the flame into dust as both my brothers
shoved my nose into the bright red icing
and I am breathlessly laughing, my mother is clapping,
the scene is spectacular, and make no mistake,
both my heart and teeth break
into a piece of cake,
listening to both my older brothers,
singing happy birthday,
saying my name,
wearing their capes.