Happy Birthday

In the restau­rant I cringe
and my rib­eye rare grows colder
when the wait­ers sing that song
to a diner one year older.

Yet I tin­gle to remem­ber
how the sul­try Mar­i­lyn
sang the same to John Fitzger­ald
mak­ing every word a sin.




Wiley Clements has had work in Per Con­tra Spring and The New For­mal­ist. A full-length col­lec­tion of his poems, enti­tled Yes­ter­day, or Long Ago, was pub­lished in 2004. He lives in Lewis­burg, Pennsylvania.