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Posts Tagged ‘secret’

 

 

Come, she says, let me show you

my secret place in the woods,

and she grabs my hand

 

and walks me past the pond through

the forest and along a ditch

until we arrive in a small clearing

 

rung with birch and old spruce.

It’s secret, she says, but not

too far away. Will you help me

 

get it ready? We return with

loppers and a small hand saw

and clear away what is dead. The sun

 

discovers new ways to touch the ground.

When we leave, the clearing

comes with us. All day, I feel it,

 

the light as it finds its way in.

 

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In the bag, the claws

of the cat are growing,

and so is its hunger—

it remembers the rake of grass

on its belly when it crouches,

the thrill in letting the mouse

almost escape.

 

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X marks each spot where I would like to kiss
you, dear. That’s why this map is full of them,
though I will never show this map to you.
I’m too afraid to tell you how I really
feel, so in each letter I have written
you, I’ve hidden xs somewhere, secret
kisses veiled in talk of other things.
For instance, when I wrote to you about
the xenops on the branch outside our house—
ridiculous, of course. Those birds are native
to the tropics. Or the time I wrote
about the mile-long xylophone? There was
no xylophone. Just one more buried kiss.
I got no x-rays of my hip, nor did
I spot a Xiphias gladius on a deep
sea fishing trip—those swordfish are elusive.
That is why there’s talk of chromosomes
in all my letters, x most frequently.
I know it’s silly. Hiding all these kisses
in these letters to you, none of which
I’ve ever sent. I keep them in this box
beside the map, then hide the box beneath
my bed. And this confession goes there, too,
sealed with a kiss I’d rather give to you.

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Though It Happens Anyway

The secret does not want
to come out of the closet.

It is very comfortable,
thank you very much,

snuggled as it is
into the sweatshirts and old t-shirts

that no one ever wears
nearly forgotten up there

on the top shelf. And it
would rather the closet

stays just as it is. No rearranging,
no digging through the layers,

no taking things away to Good Will.
Perhaps you forgot that the secret

has teeth. Sharp. Don’t worry. If you
so much as open the closet door

you’ll remember soon enough.

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