Claiming Days as our Own, 2021

I tell everyone how

I share a birthday

with the Reverand Dr.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Though we commemorate it

on a moving Monday.

I celebrate both.

I claim the whole month.

Country songs ask us

to live like we are dying.

Which we all are.

Our birthdays point out

someone changed their lives

rapidly, seismically, for ours.

My father-in-law loves to say

his birth marks an anniversary

of Mother Teresa’s, though it’s really

her baptism date, another kind of birth.

Now we have twins

starting their 3rd year

on their 2nd birthday,

the last day in February

on a non leap-year.

After the wildest two

years of our lives:

birth,

pandemic,

election,

marches,

and otherwise.

In Our Taxi

In our taxi
we take a shortcut
through 30th St.,
which I wouldn’t walk.

Which doesn’t seem
to end but carry on
with warehouses,
indefinitely.

And with the broken
streetlight disappearing
address numbers,
all graffiti, upturned
trash or shopping carts,
shattered shadows
into hulking ones…

We were in Detroit
or Los Angeles, maybe
Baltimore.

I think it is the
longest street
I’ve ever seen.