Tell me the truth now, you say,
And I sigh,
Because what is a truth but a lie without life?
And what is a lie but a truth enlivened?
If truth is the clumped, huddled mud at the bottom of a pond,
Then a lie is the bulrushes swinging, the frogs singing,
The wide loving sky gazing at its wispy white hair
In the shimmering mirror of the water.
A lie is action, a lie is color, a lie is sound,
A lie is life.
A lie is a plum,
Juicy and tart, dark skin straining to hold
The golden flesh inside,
And buried deep within every plum is a pit.
And though this pit is gnarled with the wisdom of ages,
And cradled by the golden darkness,
It’s sharp and bitter to taste,
Cracking in your mouth,
Splintering in your teeth,
Stabbing your tongue,
Bleeding all your secrets out of you
In a torrent of ugly, searing vulnerability
That nobody ever asked for,
That you never asked for,
That doesn’t do anybody any good.
That’s not an answer, you say.