That pain in your calf. That’s a candle. You know, the kind on your birthday cake. So is the crick in your neck. The outward curve of your belly. Your carpal tunnel too. And the feeling you get around seven o’clock when you’re more than ready for a drink. Candles. Striped birthday candles. Lit. Dripping wax all over the brown frosting. You blow and blow, but why bother. You’re short of breath. And those migraines. You can’t seem to sleep and your bladder is a walnut. All those candles. And the song. Listen. It’s your friends gathered around your bed, singing “Happy Birthday.” They carry you out to a field. A priest walks ahead. He swings a thurible, trailing clouds of incense. Thurible, you say. A special type of censer. A word you just learned this morning. You say it again. Over and over. You imagine a wind carrying the incense up toward heaven. Blowing the candles out.