In the agony of secrecy,

it is easy to present you with a smile –

insides wretched,

outside as fake

as the statue

caked in pigeon shit.

I follow the directions

of the people

who have gone before me.

The truth is never truer

than when buried deep.

So I pretend all is agreeable.

I mouth the platitudes

of daily living.

I go along with

the laughter and the music.

I’m the crossroads of my pain,

your benign ignorance.




John Grey is an Australian poet, U.S. resident. Recently published in New Plains Review, Perceptions, and Sanskrit, with work upcoming in South Carolina Review, Gargoyle, Owen Wister Review, and Louisiana Literature.