"This is not a book to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force." - Dorothy Parker

A Birthday

I walked with you along the fault line
It was my birthday
And we were walking all night
Whacked out on your mom’s Ritalin

The night was neither cold nor warm
But the stars were so clear
You could see the Milky Way
Like a ribbon stretched
Across the sky

I forget what year I was turning
It was somewhere in my 20s
I was climbing up the desert hills
And there it was the San Andreas Fault

There was that scar in the earth
Lit by the desert moon light
Surreal sanctuary
The pressure of the earth
Awaiting its terrible release

The dogs sniffed and peed
On every unmarked bush
Smelling coyote scat
Or nosing a dead rabbit

I don’t remember how old I was
It was somewhere in
The mid 20s those throw away years
When you are trying to make it
And it’s just stupid luck
If you do

I liked walking through the night with you
Past the derelict cars and dishwashers
The toilet seats and mattress springs
It was like a graveyard
And I was what I truly aspired to be
A ghost in a timeless gulf
Absolutely nothing but
A small consciousness in the night

I walked down the gully
Until I was on the spine of the earth
An there I started jumping up
And down on the fault line

The dogs started to bark at me
And there was a gentle wind
Coming from the south
Warm and filled with the smell
Of dead fish from the Salton Sea

There was a crackle overhead
A shooting star sliding
Across the ether
It was my birthday
And I didn’t know
How old I was   
I was free

Stewart Caesar