Those Hidden Places
Poetry begins when your
friend plays with someone else;
when the one you love says
she only wants to be your friend.
Poems come from that secret
place where your uncle touched you
while your Aunt wasn’t looking.
Poetry comes up from the bottom
of your soul, slowly rising like
stinking fumes of sulphur, like
bloated corpses that will not stay underwater,
that must find their way to the surface.
Writing poetry is like pulling your
own teeth without anesthetics,
like chewing your leg off to
get free of the trap; hanging
yourself in the cell to cheat
the electric chair.
What we call poetry
has many seeds; some
grow into flowers and
some into weeds.