We store our truths in layers,
peeling back the amount we can stand to see.
Each year peels away some layers and builds others
until we grow in furrows and in hillocks.
Smooth truth is for the very young.
The old need their protections
as memory, like flesh and misfortune,
begins to bury itself to cluster underground
in cliques and hidden passageways,
lurking like guests in a British mystery play,
searching for us as we search for them in kind.
Old beaus, lost children and beachside vacations
sealed shoulder-to-shoulder in a too-small room––
a pantry, perhaps, or closet––
to be peeled away.