Gift Exchange

I don’t think of you
except on Christmas Eve—
which you hated to share
with your birthday.
You wanted to be born
in summer, like me,
when there was nothing
more anticipated than
a birthday cake and a few
Mylar balloons tethered
to the center of the table.
We wanted so much
back then, when our lives
were new and unexplored
and our urgencies
promised to guide us
into the future—
and here I am, present,
almost fully— except I took
a moment to remember you
and the small gift we gave
to one another— which was
how to handle love
in a gentle way
when it wasn’t the right
color or size.


DeMaris Gaunt


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