Meaningless Secrets

Perhaps you forgot
Your gestation was
96 million years ago
Followed a raucous
Adolescence a
Union of mud and

Your chimeric body
An interesting life

You came here when your
Sisters lurched away
You settled nearby in
A slurry of debris
Trapped in scar tissue
Cushioned or cemented
In common time

Your first lover
Introduced you
To consistent touch
Licked away
Extraneous matter

You are alive
Because you’re
A map of small time
Where water collects
You seek shape
Codependence in
Lapidary strokes
Your polyamory a
Politics of insignificance

She’s more
Wife than lover
She tends to
While lazy, you
Relish in aloneness
Twice a day

She’s under the moon‘s soft control
So you are too

Some lovers make
Indelible grooves but
Most join in
Always been there
Ornamental lil’ erratics
Whispering secrets
Like parasites do
To their hosts
Obsequious, they
Pet you, blob queen
But lucky you feed
On wife wetness
Twice a day

You’re only one
Of many:
Lavished by the Pacific
Paid for by the moon
An unstable hierarchy
A deck of cards
Servicing many games


In polyparadise you suspect your wife of conspiracy. She wants to dislodge the groans from your nubbly kept body. She’s plotting new curves to the tune of her Pacific routine. She’s working in tandem with the one-night-stands whose numbers you save as pseudonyms pertaining to use. Their voices are so fucking annoying, you moan. You ask yourself how you can fall asleep to their polyphony of squeaks. But with them, you hear no more of the lie of your singular self. You bask in the multi-calmness of white noise.

Did you know your one-night-stands are 96-million-year old captives, scratching at your prison walls? Did you know that their revolutionary ally is your wife, in a war of attrition against you, waged with sex and stories? You’re Shahryar, not Scherezade as you’ve always believed, as your ego has always convinced you. Your retribution is erosion. Your panic is a sheen lapped away in morsels, crumbs, or ashes that fertilise obediently. Your fear is pointless in the face of inevitable change.

You will make peace with the following lessons:

  1. Learn the contour of your shape, and accept that your shape is temporary. You cannot keep it, it is not yours. You may only relish in it as long as the tide is low. It’s a hitherto lifetime with no present. It’s all work, a career of dismantlement, and so a lifetime of eroding excess.
  2. Caress the grooves of your shallow imprints. An unimportant tryst is still inerasable. Feel alive in the conglomeration of their meaningless secrets.
  3. Watch as a human manchild smashes concretions to reveal your origins: ammonites, new dinosaurs, abandoned homes buried in your flesh.

At work we’re alive. In low moments we revel in aloneness, ponder death. We gnaw at present circumstances and question improvisations, which are forms of ornament made by expertise. Ornament, a process of revealing smallness—we’re so small—through elaboration.

Do you ever feel slow inside the day’s brevity?


  • Self-published as the chapbook Meaningless Secrets, 2020, available at Hopscotch Reading Room.
  • Copyright © 2019 Bitsy Knox, all rights reserved.