I celebrate your birthday with a stone
inside my throat. Lion season: ivy,
starlings, time of the thrumming
Leo’s tongue. I am the one who hid
from you, the one who didn’t call
enough. The narrow garden spins
with lilacs and the silence
of cherry trees. I know
who you were, absent one,
Grandfather. I walk toward the pond,
its emerald veil. All that
has been severed shines.
Matthew Gellman's poems are featured or forthcoming in Thrush, The Journal, H.O.W. Journal, Lambda Literary, The Adroit Journal, Word Riot, and elsewhere. He is currently an MFA candidate at Columbia University.