happy birthday, lust

today you become legal
just like the rest of us,
and you lounge over
the diner counter, smoking
cloves and swaying your hips
like some kind of superstar.

the smoke curls into your hair
as girls walk by, short skirts
and fast smiles, pierced
skin and small hands.
they are not my type,
you think, as you drift
across the street, into
the bar downtown where
the real women are.

their gazes paint ribbons
onto your skin, pink
mottled silk to match
their mouths, only theirs
stretch as the night progresses.
these are your candles,
but you do not make wishes.

your present is hiding
somewhere in the crowd,
sweating, eyes closed,
waiting for you to buy her
a drink, mississippi mud,
the same as your conscience.
I'll have my cake and eat it too.

the world has given you
a heart for your birthday
and you wear it around your neck;
bad, ironic luck that will choke
you to death when you are
paying too much attention
or not enough at all.