things we never know

the thing about poets is they tend to write everything down. here is a poem about that. it’s called things we never know.

you’ll never know when you’ve done nothing wrong
because i don’t know much
apart from myself when i’m strictly
“need to know”

i don’t know how many times i’ve been written down
or how many times you have
how many times i broke a heart by mistake
i only know when i’ve done it on purpose
besides, whichever way it’s happened it seemed

fine to publish pornographies and
lies; rewritten histories
secretly read diary entries
hectoring didactics in the
intimacy of my self and a
polemic dressed in purple prose
available as hardback

poems can’t get thrown away like photographs
but they can be taken of us
without us knowing
we appear naked on the pages of others
because we once sprawled before them in our
glory as they sat with pencil to paper
deciding how we are to be presented

our preferences laid bare and on the
last night of exhibition
nobody is still looking and the wine has
all been drunk

yet there is one spectator always
staring silent at the wall
wondering why this picture
of their partner’s legs apart
even has to still exist
at all


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