The Birthday Party |
by Tonya Eberhard

What a birthday. Twenty years of breathing
rewarded with Hallmark cards and ten minute phone calls.

The orange flame of candles blown out,
a sudden extinguishing of a sunset.

There was no cutting of the cake with candles still lit,
no unexpected guests, no crumpling of wrapping paper. 

Walking through a sunset in tears. He didn’t care.
After crumbs were scraped off plates, icing licked off forks,

He went to sleep. The only one awake, she sang
to the sky and blew the orange sunset out to the stars. 

Something inside her melted like candle wax.
All she had left were misshapen candles,

Stubs of crooked witch fingers,
deformed voodoo dolls of hardened wax. 

Tonya Eberhard recently graduated from the University of Missouri. She currently lives in Minnesota. Her work has appeared in Dirty Chai, Lingerpost, Yellow Chair Review, Open Minds Quarterly, Sun & Sandstone, among others.