Last night, a pinprick picked 
at my mind, behind my eyelids, 
a woodpecker finding bark.

I began to think as I often do —
in silence and starlight — 
talons clinging to how your gifts 
were bought a week before the date, 
with you by my side, rifling 

through protein powders, probiotics
desired over game DLCs. Smiles, 
not surprise, encircled your presents 
because instead of smart remarks, I 
said, “You can buy more, if you want.”

The talons dug in further at how
you worked yesterday, on your birthday,
though you didn’t mind (you never do,
anymore). My brain was bleeding
from the insomnia and tiredness,

as the talons unrooted their insect,
unearthed what was winding us up
to the 18th. Time is linear like straight
lines creating parabolic curves:
weaving in whims, straying to stymie

in the larger picture, but magnified,
having logic in every trail, a simple path,
in hindsight, musing, recognizing, Oh,
we’ve come a long way
from catching tiny fireflies

and tripping each other in grass,
haven’t we, big brother?
Haven’t we?