Happy Birthday to Me by Aleš Mustar

Congratulations! Condolences!
Greeting cards are always ugly in the same way
regardless of the design: a bunch of
flowers or a black ribbon.
Clichés in sentences cut through the
heart like surgeon's knives.
A complaisant company dealing in catalogue sale
presents me with a gift coupon.
A well-read advertiser didn't forget to
include lines from Wordsworth
closely followed by good wishes
for a nice celebration and much joy in
the use of the discount.
As soon as the fax machine gets as smart
as mobile phones
and starts responding with the Happy Birthday tune
I shall commit suicide.

Translated from the Slovenian by Manja Maksimovič


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