I was wise with the diary,
molded a daily arc,
forced the surprises to conform
till they were splayed end-to-end
like plucked chickens.
I’ll be honest, I cooked them.
I don’t like playing games
with real consequences,
but you’ve asked me implicitly
to think on my feet, to use you
as scribble-pad, to offer it or lose it
but not slide it between pulpy layers.
I am not so wise now
left with only my own brain,
its loaded dome like a minefield
in the secret ballroom of a luxury hotel.
There are dozens of passwords
and I am the ghost guard
in full regalia, lookout for
sense’s diluted waltz with nonsense.
If I enjoyed this tradition,
if I wished to efface myself,
airbrush it pink and pale,
I’d say, On you it is written.
But I don’t, and you don’t
take me for a fool, do you?
You ask for the cipher striptease,
and I resist, piling on layers,
and I yield, etching on air.