There you are, as always,
dangling like a mess of carrots,
playing your constant peek-a-boo,
inescapable as a virus
and suddenly the pressure is on
to make those final, hopeful amends,
reduce oneself into a slim, aerodynamic spectacle,
and finally, in a last-ditch, gut-clenching effort,
to morph into sudden, spectacular greatness.
As always, you are like religion.
It's hard not to want to please you.
But instead of a great leaping, evangelical stride
what usually happens is an evisceration,
me peeling my own layers, scrubbing the dirt off like mad,
demanding enormous things of myself at the end of December
I "forget" just weeks into January,
which is when the guilt sets in,
simple and cold and sharp as ice.
What I want, I suppose, is for you to be a little gentler
with your arrival, not so earnest and punctual.
Don't worry if you're late this time.
I don't mind if you finish your book, drink another cup of tea, sleep.
I'm fine, really.
Can entertain myself plenty.
Buy something nice, on sale.
Rent a movie.
Enjoy what's left in the donut box.
Stay out of the rain.
Keep myself dry and soft and happy
for a little while longer.