happy birthday

the evening had shifted. a family birthday, held
in the kitchen and living room of my parent’s house.
reclining, we, deflated as the supermarket balloons
scattering the sofas, lay limp at the limbs. middles bulging
talking of Easter six years back, of barbequed bratwurst
and who brought that salad; the one with the raisins in it?
some paper plates still lay, picked at, scraped, or the edges torn.
the sickly smell of tomato-sauce smears, discarded cake icing,
and the beer and the wine and the socked feet and the coke cans,
that were left out in the sun, by our old, peeling cubby house.