We live in secret cities And we travel unmapped roads. We speak words between us that we recognize But which cannot be looked up. They are our words. They come from very far inside our mouths. You and I, we are the secret citizens of the city Inside us, and inside us There go all the cars we have driven And seen, there are all the people We know and have known, there Are all the places that are But which used to be as well. This is where They went. They did not disappear. We each take a piece Through the eye and through the ear. It's loud inside us, in there, and when we speak In the outside world We have to hope that some of that sound Does not come out, that an arm Not reach out In place of the tongue.
Pies have a reputation.
And it’s immediate—no talk of potential
Regarding a pie. It’s good
Or it isn’t, but mostly it is—sweet, very sweet
Right then, right there, blue and red.
It can’t go to junior college,
Work hard for the grades,
Work two jobs on the side.
It can’t slowly build a reputation
And a growing client base.
A pie gets one chance
And knows it, wearing as makeup
Those sparkling granules of sugar,
As a collar those diamond cutouts
Bespeaking Fair Day, felicity, contentment.
I tell you everything is great, says a pie,
Great, and fun, and fine.
And you smell nice, too, someone says.
A full pound of round sound, all ahh, all good.
Pies live a life of applause.
But then there are the other pies.
The leftover pies. The ones
Nobody chooses at Thanksgiving.
Mincemeat? What the hell is that? people ask,
Pointing instead at a double helping of Mr.
“I-can-do-no-wrong” pecan pie.
But the unchosen pies have a long history, too.
They have plenty of good stories, places they’ve been—
They were once fun, too—
But nobody wants to listen to them anymore.
Oh sure, everybody used to love lard,
But things have changed, brother—things have changed.
That’s never the end of the story, of course.
Some pies make a break for it—
Live underground for a while,
Doing what they can, talking fast,
Trying to be sweet pizzas, if they’re lucky.
But no good comes of it. Nobody is fooled.
A pie is a pie for one great day. Last week,
It was Jell-O. Tomorrow, it’ll be cake.