What are birthdays for?

It’s something about my birthday that’s never been quite right.

It’s like, something monstrous is always looming on the date.

I got married on my birthday in hopes of offsetting this strange energy.

My anniversaries are approaching.

Another year in this realm, on this plane. Another year with my life partner.

What is time ?

There’s this looming feeling of mortality. Like, suddenly I’m reflecting upon everything, everywhere, all at once.

This last year has been nothing short of incredible.

I miss my daughter dearly.

My birthday is a reminder that I’ve been walking this earth for a full year without her at my side regularly.

How do people do this? I’m so focused on everything I’m doing that I’m cool most of the time. But the feeling of knowing my child is across the world creeps in anytime I sit still.





Every birthday there’s a reason to celebrate and a reason to grieve.

That’s what’s never been quite right.

When will I be allowed to be whole?

To experience a bout of happiness without an asterisk?

I want to have it all.

Where is the release of grief ?

I’m exhausted.



I give praise for the evolution.

Yet, I mourn for yet another complex day that should be just my day.

Happy Birthday EmpressKeno

Empress Keno on her 30th birthday in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania – July 2021
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