48th Birthday Sonnet
from Hot Flash Sonnets
by Moira Egan
I don’t want cake. I’ve lost all urge for sweets,
including fruit, to my dear one’s despair.
He knows I’ll eat it if it’s wrapped in meat
(figs and prosciutto), or soaked in Sauternes.
These days I’ll take the bitter, and the salt,
though bitterness, they say, is a disorder
—look in the DSM-V, doctor’s orders—
To shut mine up, I take it for a walk.
I share this day with certain gentlemen
who took the early exit: Hemingway,
John Gardner (speeding round that bend), Hart Crane.
Compared to theirs, my death wish holds no candle.
I’ll blow it out. Sometimes wishes come true.
My father died when he was fifty-two.