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Secrets

The secrets I keep from myself
are the same secrets
the leaves keep
from the old trunk
of the tree
even as they turn
color.

They are the garbled
secrets
of the waterfall
about to be stunned
on rock;
the sound of the stream's
dry mouth
after weeks of drought.

Hush, says the nurse
to the new child howling
its one secret
into the world,
hush
as she buries
its mouth
in milk.

On the hearth the fire consumes
its own burning tongue,
I cannot read the ash.
By the gate
the trumpet flower sings
only silence
from its shapely
throat.

At night
I fall asleep
to the whippoorwill's
raucous lullabye,
old as the first garden:
never tell
never tell
never tell.

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