We don't really want to know what you are feeling
when we say, "How are you?" By the time you answer,
we're already down the hall. That was just a comma
in the sentence we have meted out to you.
"Do you have anything to declare?" asks the
official at the border. "Don't get me started,"
we think. "What I have to declare you don't
want to hear," but we say politely, "No, nothing."
"I'll be honest with you," says the politician,
and we whisper to ourselves, "When did you
stop lying?" but we respond with a smile
and an attentive cocking of the head.
You want to talk about honesty, really?
You want to admit to a slew of wordless crimes,
crimes of thought and passion conceived in silence
and excuted deftly without apparent motion?
We're as honest with each other as gears
which need the oil. Time counts
more than tenderness; efficient are
the boundaries drawn clear.
Humble friendship bumbles artlessly along,
throws its arms wide in a yes to all of life,
its truth a tree whose roots go deep in every season.