I Need to Tell You a Secret

Matty Layne Glasgow

I didn’t read those sad stories when I was younger,

but I never left a line of poetry unsung on the page.

Poets know how to turn a phrase. They’re efficient

lovers, know you’ve got to get to where you’re going

& it’s gonna be deep, & it’s gonna be raw, & it’s not

gonna take two weeks to finish because who has time

for that shit? Poems let the world turn on the page,

give me line breaks like revolutions that spin into

what I need. To tell you a secret might be just enough

to keep you here, so let me tell you about those dark

places we go to touch one another. How I hold him

in my hand, & on my tongue. How we do it because

it feels damn good, & we don’t care who listens or

watches or reads between our broken lines. Let me

tell you another little secret: some stories don’t end

how you want them to. Some stories are about the son

who watches his mama turn to ash before he’s ready,

the son who tries to check out early, the son who takes

too many pills, about all the scars on his arms, & how

the nurse tells him they’ll let him outta there soon, but

what’s he gonna tell his kids about those scars someday?

Some stories don’t even start the way you want them to,

so the son doesn’t finish those stories. & here’s a secret

about the son: he doesn’t read the stories, but he sings

you every broken line because he knows time’s not on

his side, & he wants to bring you with him in every lyric

because someday soon this world ain’t gonna turn no

more. So there’s your secret, how you gonna keep it?