From the collection published in 2021, And Don’t Come Back.


Because, you know, all the time
I was never going to have to do any different.
Because one
everything lined up and stood at perfect right angles.
Because two
luck always finds me when I call for it.
Because three. No, four, I give two checkmarks
I am twice as good as anyone else I know
at keeping secrets.

So it happened in that room.
Where there has always been
something about secrets.
I have been rummaging through
the desk drawers for years. Years!
I’ve known where you hid the key
since the first week you had it. Secrets.
Of course I read the letter
signed with delicate small strokes of a pen
like potato peelings dried and curled or
like bird tracks in the dirt.
I recognized the handwriting. Secrets.

Nothing violent. Nothing loud. Gentle.
I folded my hand around the paper
some time later I closed the door
leaned my dust mop against it on the hall side.
No one touches a dust mop if they don’t have to.
Good as a deadbolt. Plenty of time
for time to pass.

The letter? At present unused
but the material is good
and it will keep.
Isn’t that the woman’s voice?
Making Do
to make sure that
the circumstances
(this time so generous, too)
make the right acquaintances.
If you know what I mean.


4 thoughts on “Secrets

    • Thank you. I was thinking about the image I had in my head of a dust mop leaning against a door, and I have no idea where this whole story came from, but I just let it do what it did!

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