The proper place for a secret is not the dust

under your valanced bed or the back of a wardrobe,

even if locked. The family closet is not discreet.


You may try wrapping it in layers of tissue

placed in a small bag, sewing this into your heart,

smooth and seamless, before stitching closed your mouth.


You might fold up its flesh inside a steel box,

then bury this at night: some soil-smothered grave

at the bottom of a garden overgrown with weeds.


But those bones will give it away, even as it rests

stiller than earth in the hollow of your skull

beneath this wasteland with its bramble chains.


Some dog, some badger will smell it and dig it up.

This is fact. See how your speech, your eyes,

your twitching hands already reveal it.


(From ‘The Magnetic Diaries’, Knives Forks And Spoons Press, 2015, highly commended in the Forward Prizes. First published in ‘A Complicated Way of Being Ignored: The Grist anthology of the best poetry of 2012’.)