By Noeme Grace C Tabor-Farjani
for Dorcas, a friend, on her birthday
What do I say? / A thousand words said / over and over again. / What else do I say? / Except the unknown, / unheard, unseen, maybe. / But what can be hidden / from the light that you are? / That is what many / do not know. That / in your show / that is all there is— / what you see is what you get.
Some see a sacrilege / in acts. But your allure / is sacred. Some call you bold. / Why not? It’s just / another word for brave. / You cried out the whispers / behind your back / onto my shoulders. / Someone called you blunt. / I say, / honest, true, / authentic. Remember the fall / from the stairs? We called it / “style going down.” We proclaimed / every disorder in movement, / at work, in language—ART. / We find joy in what we do, / and so, we create more joy / that even our very tears / decide to join in / the laughter. Remember / your father’s funeral? / In between sigh / and grief, you are / just one stubborn / lady, bull-like.
Here is your power: that persistent / joy, the gait. You are the picture / that comes to me / in Maya Angelou’s poem Phenomenal Woman. / But here is what I want to read: / Edna St. Vincent Millay’s The Penitent: something / about a little sorrow / and a little sin. A sorrow / unwept, a sin unslept. / Something / about gloom, something unlit.
I do not wish you / a happy birthday. / Cliched. You are / already happy. / I wish that you have / some wonderful story / to tell, of today. / Shine on, dear. / Tireless, like the sun. / Thirst on, for the waters.