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two weeks ago i threw a stone
at the water and watched it skip three times, thinking
it will never do to grow old and content.

-

somewhere beneath this river
there is a castle built from stones i've thrown,
and all of the fish are kings and queens.

they've never been asked about their royal decrees.
no one has ever wished them a happy birthday.
they reign over the kingdom of life and death, and even the river
refuses to stop and mourn them when they go.

-

one week ago i found a moss-covered stump,
and instead of crying, i counted its rings.

twenty-four.

if you were to cut me crosswise, i don't know
what you'd find. perhaps severed arteries
pouring out gold and poetry,
ancient cave paintings splashed across my vertebrae,
or the secret to immunity brewing
in the cauldron of my hips.

maybe you wouldn't find anything.
i cannot grow rings, after all,
and i am no queen.

-

today, to celebrate my birthday,
i will head down to the river with a saw
slung over my shoulder and
chop down a tree.

i cannot help but think that one day you will
stumble across its stump and count its rings,
and you will ask the fish about what it's like to die
without a name.

you will find a perfect skipping stone, but
instead of throwing it, you will put it in your pocket
because you know about the fish.
you know about the trees.

you know that we grow older against our will,
and even stones that skip still have to sink.
happy birthday to me.
Add a Comment:
 
:iconneko2631:
neko2631 Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2014
Your writing.  I think I'm kind of in love with it.

Tonight it's a salve I very desperately needed.

Thank you for being you. 
Reply
:iconthemis-kali:
Themis-Kali Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2014
I have greatly missed coming onto deviantart to see your stories and poems. 
I have always adored your style and eerily unique ability to make one think and feel as the story wraps into itself.

In some ways your work stuns me into a stupor and in other ways it gives me hope that I too can write again because it does pull so beautifully at the pieces hidden deep that have sunk like the skipping stones.
Reply
:iconestallidos:
estallidos Featured By Owner Apr 30, 2014  Professional Writer
I often go into writing-related droughts where there's not a word to work with for miles. (Excuse the poor metaphor, please.) I think the biggest thing that jump-starts my writing is reading writing from others!

Best of luck with getting your writing on track :)
Reply
:iconjascuty:
Jascuty Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2014  Student Writer
I really love your style. Your work tell beautiful stories with meanings that make you stop and think for a bit. You are really talented, and I can't wait to see your future work :)
Reply
:iconestallidos:
estallidos Featured By Owner Apr 30, 2014  Professional Writer
Thank you!
Reply
:iconbegginermay:
BegginerMay Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2014  Student Artist
you are perfect.
Reply
:iconestallidos:
estallidos Featured By Owner Apr 30, 2014  Professional Writer
<333
Reply
:iconladywolfrider:
LadyWolfRider Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2014  Student Writer
This is gorgeous 
Reply
:iconestallidos:
estallidos Featured By Owner Apr 30, 2014  Professional Writer
Thanks bb :)
Reply
:iconi-am-a-bridgewalker:
i-am-a-bridgewalker Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
the circling of the images here--fish, death, trees, aging--is so masterfully done.
Reply
:iconbronwynholmes:
BronwynHolmes Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
That is awesome! You are a great writer! <3
Reply
:iconestallidos:
estallidos Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2013  Professional Writer
thanks, darlin'!
Reply
:iconbronwynholmes:
BronwynHolmes Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
Toats meh goats love! You really are talented <3
Reply
:iconangiebeagoodgirl:
Angiebeagoodgirl Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you
Reply
:iconajmax23:
Ajmax23 Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2013
I wish I could write like this. You never cease to amaze me.
Reply
:iconflummo:
flummo Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2013  Student Writer
Stunning. :heart:
Reply
:icon752364:
752364 Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Happy birthday Kelsey. You hate your birthdays...but please know that people like me silently bless your parents at every one.
Reply
:iconarabesque-o:
arabesque-o Featured By Owner Sep 17, 2013  Student Photographer
the way you write:
its lovely.
Reply
:icondarkpunksbabe:
darkpunksbabe Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2013
Your work always strikes a chord with me. And it appears our birthdays are close to each other, so wishing you a happy birthday by stopping to say you make amazing work.
Reply
:icondoublethefun:
doublethefun Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2013
"and you will ask the fish about what it's like to die
without a name."
Oh man.... good line
Reply
:iconkaleidoscopic365:
Kaleidoscopic365 Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2013
But is it really so terrible,estallidos?
Reply
:iconreigentaka:
ReigenTaka Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2013
I have to believe that you do this by accident. I have to believe that no one is this skilled.
Reply
:iconvaines-polo:
Vaines-polo Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2013
You have no idea how much I look forward to when you post new stuff. Just so you know, it's all amazing. :)
Reply
:iconsalright:
sAlright Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2013   Traditional Artist
You are beautiful.. thank you for writing this :hug:
Happy birthday!
Reply
:icondusklupe:
Dusklupe Featured By Owner Sep 4, 2013
Somber yet very beautiful approach to the slow dieing of youth. I turn thirty on Saturday so I suppose I could admit to a mutual understand of such things. Never let the world take your words. Your poetry IS gold. Happy Birthday!!
Reply
:iconj-jinx-ann:
J-Jinx-Ann Featured By Owner Sep 4, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
happy birthday and lovely work
Reply
:iconwehrwoof:
WEHRWOOF Featured By Owner Sep 4, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Happy Birthday! Words can't describe how much I love your poetry.  They are the most beautiful words I've ever read.
Reply
:iconilyilaice:
ilyilaice Featured By Owner Sep 4, 2013
happy birthday! i hope you have a fun day.
this was a pretty poem. i do think you'll have gold and poetry inside you. the best things. :heart:
Reply
:iconpatchlamb:
PatchLamb Featured By Owner Sep 4, 2013  Student General Artist
Oh I really like this. It sorta makes me sad; a pang in my heart.
Reply
:iconestallidos:
estallidos Featured By Owner Sep 4, 2013  Professional Writer
thanks, you.
Reply
:iconfriguceler:
Friguceler Featured By Owner Sep 4, 2013  Hobbyist

Happy Birthday!^^ :iconkawaiihugplz:

The poem is beautifully written!^^

Reply
:iconestallidos:
estallidos Featured By Owner Sep 4, 2013  Professional Writer
thank you!
Reply
:iconmangosquirrel:
mangosquirrel Featured By Owner Sep 4, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
i was reading this not knowing who the author was thinking how perfect it was (style-wise and everything at least for me) and i scrolled down and saw and thought "ah, of course."
Reply
:iconestallidos:
estallidos Featured By Owner Sep 4, 2013  Professional Writer
this makes me happy.
Reply
:iconmangosquirrel:
mangosquirrel Featured By Owner Sep 4, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
[and happy birthday. i hope that it's wonderful and the world will be kind to you this year.]
Reply
:iconultimatesketchqueen:
UltimateSketchQueen Featured By Owner Sep 4, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Ah, yesh, Happy birthday<3
I hope you actually did have a happy birthday; are you maybe going to have a party? Unless you count sawing down a tree a party, then ignore that question.
Reply
:iconestallidos:
estallidos Featured By Owner Sep 4, 2013  Professional Writer
NO PARTY FOR ME.

no cake.

these are my birthdays. but i sort of revel in it, so it's whatever.
Reply
:iconlovelyricsandlies:
LoveLyricsAndLies Featured By Owner Sep 4, 2013  Student Writer
I always get so excited when you upload new stuff because everything you write is fabulous! This did not let me down. It is simply wonderful, in a somber, happy-sad way. The ending was particularly powerful. 
Reply
:iconestallidos:
estallidos Featured By Owner Sep 4, 2013  Professional Writer
thank you :)
Reply
:iconkinyolee:
KinyoLee Featured By Owner Sep 4, 2013
Great piece ! :clap:
have a nice birthday!!
Reply
:iconestallidos:
estallidos Featured By Owner Sep 4, 2013  Professional Writer
thanks!
Reply
:iconprojectilewordvomit:
projectilewordvomit Featured By Owner Sep 4, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Happy birthday! Sad but still lovely, so therefore I like it.
Reply
:iconestallidos:
estallidos Featured By Owner Sep 4, 2013  Professional Writer
thanks, em.
Reply
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