The summer of my 25th year,
when the soul's ghost was busy
within turning the notched gear
to the quarter century mark,
the genie granted me my three wishes.
I stood up on my chair and demanded
he tell me who he was. It was still dark
and he opened his mouth in the darkness
and a glow began emanating up
from the back of his smoky throat, slowly, before my eyes,
warming to a deep crimson, until I saw
the thin line of vibrating light rolling
up into sight over his wet tongue.
I shook with pleasure, and it woke me.
Surprise! it was only the sun rising. Morning! with stiff limbs.
Some of us, I found out later, did not ask
receiving the gifts with simple gladness.