Becca Klaver

 

 

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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.