Black Birthday

When life is too black to play the hap-hap-happy
jester, it’s tilt-your-fedora time. Where’s Hyde Park,
where’s “la Rue Mouffetard”? Time to lounge under lamplight
or a fan, at least, in this solemn sweatbox town,
sin city, hidden city, dark city. What kind
of city is it? The kind where “They say it’s your
birthday” gets bellowed out on Facebook, and Facebook
denizens bellow back (not at all concerned with
the shadow behind the curtain, the sooty shoes
poking out from under the bed). It’s never time,
never the right time. The beat bumps, heart pumps. Beatles
scream, “We’re gonna have a good time!” but the screaming
isn’t at all convincing. There’s a sweetheart there,
somewhere, whispering, “Well, Happy Birthday to you.”

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