Ropes pulled tight at the huge plastic tarp we tied from the house to the trees like a sail, in case it rained. It rained. I became fifty. Then the sun shone, then the moon. My oldest friend stood beneath the sag where water collected and pushed it up with a broom, and a big puddle, brownish from spring oak trees, whooshed onto the edge of the lawn. Tiki torches lit the periphery; laughs from the kitchen burst like waves. A few lovers burned marshmallows over at the firepit. Looking around, I was so happy. In the morning, some were up making breakfast, others bagged a beer-bottle typhoon that had blown through the yard, and I woke with a woman in my bed I’d known in high school, hadn’t seen in twenty-five years, who’d come through divorce and cancer scars and was more beautiful. She stayed three days. Now the wind lifts and drops the birthday sail all day and night — when I lie in bed, I feel rocked by the sea, the sound just out the bedroom window. The ropes loosen and tighten, the years like a boat in which I am carried.