Your 8th Birthday
I forget the comet’s name I looked for all night
but never found. You slept in the tent
while I kept the fire going,
hoping an arrow of light and dust
might pierce the air
so I could stir you from your coma
and show you.
We could’ve seen crumbs of ice
dissolving into mist
where the fragments failed
and fell into the atmosphere.
But I never found it.
I lay beside you
and you pressed a cheek into my chest
just like the night you were born,
the night we tied your name to you.
Since then, how many failures
like feathers have I fathered into you?
I wanted to give you a comet,
but you got another night of the same night
on this planet instead.
As you grew still beside me again,
I kissed your hair and hoped
that night together was enough,
the way laying an 8 on its side
is enough to make it infinite.
Pittsburgh Quarterly is now accepting submissions for its online poetry feature. PQ Poem is seeking poetry from local, national and international poets that highlight a strong voice and good use of imagery, among other criteria. To have your work featured, send up to three previously unpublished poems in Word or PDF format as well as a brief bio to email@example.com. Simultaneous submissions are accepted, but if work is accepted elsewhere, please alert us.