For your birthday I'm learning to pop lead balloons
with a sugar toothpick when all you asked for
was a flaunt-proof copy of your poetic license.
My lips are sealed in your own self-interest.
All you requested was a flak jacket to wear
navigating your tone-drone when violating enemy
airspace in the no-lie zone but I gave you a ball gown
with a princess crown and angel wings.
The year you asked for a basketball and
a Buck Rogers decoder ring with a twisty dial
I gave you my words in a chapbook as you
fought in court the suspension of all disbelief.
Remember the time I gave you the choice:
me or what's behind Door Number Three -
you answered with a Mona Lisa simile,
pretty as a picture, mighty like a rose.
This is the year when I give you the world,
a contribution to the reliquary
where you keep your vestiges,
O Madonna of False Preconception,
as you wave to the homeboys singing hosannas
behind your back, leading the twilight scramble
down Saint Mark's Square, crossing the Bridge of Size
to your sell in the palace of the Doge.
We sit on a bench near the statue of Charlemagne
in front of Notre Dame, you feeding pigeons
to an allez-chat before we cross the love bridge
(Pont Des Arts) where you handcuff a homeless man
to the railing in a display of eternal affectation.
Early in the mourning of summer poultice we circle
the rocks at Stonehenge until the light strikes exactly
at thirty-seven degrees refraction and reaching
into my pocket, I disgorge a small box containing
a gift that will last forever, something small and shiny,
something round and golden that you wear on a finger;
you guessed it: a Buck Rogers decoder ring.
(First published in Wilda Moris's Poetry Challenge - 2019)