I thought life would be yellow, but it’s basically the colour of mud –
the flood of universal brown you get when rainbows smudge,
when you’ve overworked your palette and mixed all the colours up.
But I hide that from myself.

I am not the change I wanted to see in the world – the world changed me
rearranged me in ways I didn’t expect and sometimes don’t like.
Right and wrong give way too often to grey exhaustion and ease.
But I hide that from myself.

Creating life came at a price,
twice what I expected to pay, in a translucent currency of wrinkles and worry and waste –
of all the bits of myself left or lost on the way. Bits I never said goodbye to.
But I hide that from myself.

On the other side of love came fear and pain, the same ugly,
nameless things that in the dark wheedle their way into your brain like pink worms.
They bore new paths for bad thoughts.
But I hide that from myself.

They say hate consumes you, but for me it was love, eating me up,
shoving out everything. And to shaw up the shell in the void grew things I never knew I could do,
some of them black.
But I hide those from myself.

There is more struggle and fighting and
frightening in Family than I understood. I know I’m happy but only with my head –
and the quicksilver smile too deep inside doesn’t always reach my eyes.
But I hide that from myself.

There are so many things I could have
should have done or been better I can’t count them. But they add up anyway,
into a thousand purple flagellations on the cusp of consciousness, floating heavy.
But I hide them from myself.

There are days when I am not real and can’t
feel enough, when I watch numb from outside and follow disconnected a beat behind.
I am the blood redshift doggedly stalking the stars, out of phase.
But I hide that from myself.

It hurts to look, but it also hurts to hide, in the end. The effort in
pretending, in singing La la la as my own background theme with fingers stuffed in ears,
drags me down by the lobes.

Deliberately not seeing, not probing, staying dim, carefully ignoring the peripheral
pushing in, refusing to admit the bits my mind shies to touch
costs much, too.

Because blinkers come with a harness –
tarnished, and I hold my own reins like a cruel and unforgiving master
white at the knuckles and mouth.

But I hide that from myself.