The Year of the Rooster

By Kelly Grace Thomas


Every year, around my birthday, I try to fuck with time.

I smoke a cigarette or drink too much,

put lobster on a credit card,

with buttery chardonnay buzz.


I leave the things the past year has taught me on the doorstep,

and knock on the door of the person I used to be.

Just to see if the lessons stuck.


I wrestle with who’s in charge.

There is a part of me, that is too difficult to control,

cravings of chocolate milk and no-sleep sunrises.

This borderless land

where shame and pleasure tap dance on a page.

Age has taught me the difference between wanting and knowing better,

so I put her in the cupboard. Let her live with the chicken soup.

The flip of the calendar is coming. Waiting.


There are too many questions I still haven’t answered,

But I collect bravado like postcards

 and collage the courage to start asking.

In like a lion, I feel the challenge to flirt

with 365 tightropes, tied to my hands.

The lamb’s exit, a testament measured in goodnight kisses,

the rejection of submission, hopeful applications and coffee at all hours.

Life is a game, you just have to keep winning.


I go to the ocean and know our breaking runs deep.

My floor collects one more scratch and I look for fancy sofas to buy.

But I feel no embarrassment for growing old,

I will not apologize for when my story started.