From the collection Picture Making, published 2017. The three photos served as the inspiration for the poem. For more information, look here.
As a note, I did two poems from these photos – couldn’t seem to make them go into one piece. Sometimes that happens.
I am hard. I am straight lines and sharp points.
You bet you know
who I am
when you touch your finger to my edge
and it bleeds. I hurt your feelings in so many ways.
You recognize your own face in my shiny-surfaced smile.
You see your own initials stamped on my hand.
I tell you
what you don’t want to hear
What you have locked up, double-locked, triple-locked,
what you wanted to store behind the rotting wood door
covered in peeling white paint. I know your secrets
I keep your secrets.
You tell me everything
even when you are
hollowed out by age
your leaves are sparse
and some branches
have none at all.