You cursed the candles,
their flirty flicker,
like a wicked smile after a lurid laugh at your expense.
The cake was like cardboard,
choked down with a cold glass of sick,
as celebrations go,
that one was… kind of shit,
but you scraped a smile onto your face during the family zoom call,
hoping the walls didn’t echo too much and reveal the big secret.
You made a show of unwrapping gifts,
so your parents wouldn’t know how quickly you were unravelling,
how sick you had become of the same cycle of hours,
how you could barely keep up the charade for the camera,
but you made it,
waving and smiling until everybody had left the call and given you quiet permission to collapse.
It was the unhappiest birthday you had ever had,
so you’ll be glad to know that the government,
who had given you the gift of loneliness and financial insecurity were celebrating themselves in what I can only describe,
as a never ending festival of fuckwittery.
Colin the caterpillar crawled across a desk,
throwing up smarties and sambuca as Dylan the dog sniffed around the sandwiches.
Special advisors had a billboard time, breaking swings and slides,
and atop it all,
the Mad King, unfortunately topless,
swung his tie around his head,
jumping from desk to desk like a poor man’s King Kong,
as his Fay Wray found herself planning their next holiday on the people’s expense.
It all makes sense,
when you think about it,
our sacrifices are just sustenance for the snakes that slither through big houses, admiring the tacky wallpaper.
The police stab their eyes out with their truncheons,
and the Prime Minister wipes his soiled lips on reports into his own conduct,
You sit alone,
tormented by the turmoil of a day that seemed to last forever,
longer and longer with each second.
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