My diaries

My diaries

No ceremonial farewell
To my diaries. I let them
Fall into an eager bin bag
Onto leavings from days-old meals

Without a second glance. I burnt
The first in 1996
When my brother read it aloud,
But since then they’d been allowed to

Occupy a suffocating
Space in a drawer, or else a box,
In every room I’d moved in to.
Every year the stack expanded

With a slap or thud: the ring-bound
Tearaways from ’97,
The sunflower, the mottled grey,
The big red, and the little black;

A new volume each midwinter,
Filled with frustrated lusts and trusts
In weary biro, drawn out on
An indifferent shade of ruled white.

Try as I might, I couldn’t feel
Any warmth transfer to my hands
From these embers of me. I hoped
Nightly they would rewrite themselves

Into something my grandchildren
Might want to read – or else a tract
So scandalous I’d need to feed
Them to the flames, like the first one,

In order to be freed. But no:
Days just come and go, like days do,
With longer gaps between until
Early May, 2004,

Brought LiveJournal, Blogger, Twitter,
And so much more; and all intent
Became a public history,
Showing another side of me:

The side I’d rather people see,
For better, worse. Now I only
Feel how I felt writing in them
When nobody knows where I go.


Appears in:
Rhymes for all times [2015]

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