Birthday party

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Even the small flame of twelve candles
casts a blinding light in a darkened room
where just a few voices flicker in shame
as they sing without clapping hands:
Happy birthday
dear Antonio,
we wish you the best for a full healthy life
because you’ll be alone for a long time yet.
You’ll have to come find us
though we’re all around you
hiding, in silence.
But don’t be afraid:
one day the light will spread
and candles will no longer blind us
and you will feel better among brothers and sisters
with friends and family sharing your joy.

Mothers cradle their children’s head
point at me, stare at me, show me to them –
how to explain our way of love?
But children accept the world as it comes –
how to tell mine what they will face?
Happy birthday
dear Antonio,
happy birthday.
Humans were made on the sixth day:
God was tired
and used leftovers.

(A translation of an unpublished Italian author, Marco Capasso, for Coming Out Day.)

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