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Age Twenty-Six

by Mariah Sells

Twenty years ago I considered this day.
Children often dream of cartoons and balloons
and county fairs with edible cotton clouds.

I dreamt of death.
I dreamt of their conceptual Heaven and me,
me spinning in
circular patterns and holding your hand and
like smiles in the rain,

a naive and receptive child in a church pew.

But you’re not smiling
because after you conceived me,
you assessed
the sadness of this world—
you assessed the sadness and the world failed
your standards, so
it    at age twenty-six
like frowns under the rain of your own sadness,

a pretentious and agnostic teenager in a church pew.

And until now, I’ve never cared for my birthday.
I was spawned from air, an unstoppable idea—
and today, we meet again within comparable
time in incomparable time periods.

Even words can’t feasibly describe my thoughts
as I realize I’ve become the same age as you were—

when personal pain caused life to abandon you,
and that pain, like a bullet, raped you
of your comparable time.

Copyright © 2012 by Mariah Sells

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