I clean my knife
and cut the cake.
I’m 36 tonight.
The cake is a gift from Dolores.
She takes my taxi.
She’s a nurse,
16 years older than me,
overweight, has never
had sex.
She over-tips
and thinks she understands me.

This year my birthday fell
on a Sunday
and I worked all day.
I drove Dolores to church
this morning.
I waited for her in my cab
in the shadow of the
When she came out
she was crying
and said she didn’t sing.

She gave me a handwritten poem
before bolting
for her apartment.

I read it now
while eating the cake.
It’s called,
“The Best Date We Never Had”.
It rhymes
and is very bad.

Dolores I’m sorry,
I’m sorry, I don’t
know how to make it

The cake is