you came as a surprise

on my birthday, offering a purple scarf with silver-gray elephants,

something about holy images on a material piece of cloth meant to be worn—well,

you weren’t exactly sure how, but it didn’t seem to matter, being accurate,

when all you ever wanted was to be laughing and affectionate, deeply

loved in return, to be known as that friend who showed up

on my birthday, bearing gifts, however unsure

the years between might appear