My Solar Return

Photo by Sebastian Voortman on

Today is my solar return. I made it one more year around the sun. I like to think of birthdays this way, it feels like an accomplishment. It speaks to the journey each trip around the sun entails. I actually had a different poem in mind for today, and then I found this one, and I switched my mind. So, here’s my choice for my solar return poem.


I arrived here by happenstance.
Maybe a problem with travel arrangements?
I was assembled. I like to think
I was made of mud, stagnant water,
brutal sun. I see these elements
in my imperfections in this fierce world.
Inhabitants are not just made,
we do some of the inventing.
I added some cacti, some coldness,
some rattlesnake venom, and some
bones after vulture engorged their black bellies.
I dipped some feathers in blood
and picked up things the wind did not want to consume.
I built some cruelly weathered courtyard walls.
I sketched regions of myself that no one
would be able to color in. You ask
for specific details about me. Your eyes
are convinced the equation of a person
can be calculated. I tell you,
you will come to know me more
as the miscalculations. I am not
a highway with a precisely engineered plan.
I was born a territory, perpetually incomplete.
Whipped by winds, pitted by needles, and orbs
of sharpened sand. I developed into
this sight you see before you. Tomorrow,
I might be different as nuances ruthless as delirious flames
or subtleties quiet as a gentle stream
moving parts of me around. What you assumed
created what grew here, is growing.
I am elements in constant motion.
When you are not changing, you are not breathing.
You cannot know me.
I cannot know you
unless we see each other as delirious latitudes,
imagined horizons, conflagrations of elements
we are all constantly learning to navigate

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