Birthday, Weltschmerz

John James

Shame comes first when the plum is less
sweet, its tartness gleaning
over the roof of the mouth.

Instead of milk and pancakes,
iron. We say fĂȘte

to have lived so many years
alone. Though the door is locked

some light from outside
shines in, revealing a house so full
of reticence. It waxes in extremes.

Whiff of salt, taste of fresh water,
a black worm drying in the morning sun.