A Writer’s Need

Read my words
and know the depths of my soul
and all my innermost secrets
as if they were yours.

But do not touch me.

Visit my concealed fears
and delight in my desires,
dreaming my dreams
in technicolour with me.

But do not ask me questions.

See all that I am and have,
excavated and bare and honest,
feeling with me my scars
and singeing old wounds.

But do not approach me.

Examine my body with me,
and share in my shame,
cringe when I do and
know what I love.

But do not stare at me.

Let the sun and the wind
and the rain bear down
on my naked body and
my wrung-out, opened up soul.

But let me not feel your breath.

Thus far and no further
and this is quite far.
You know all my secrets
and you know where they are.

Do not prod me into silence.
Do not pry and efface me.
I am only a few thoughts,
a few words, a few feelings.

I shift at your gaze,
Erase at your touch,
Smart at your query,
Vanish when you are close.

So read me and heed me,
exult in what I show,
enjoy what I share
and take what I offer.

But leave me alone.

July 1, 2003.