The small lies we make for ourselves
to get us by, to see us through the day
stay with us long past the reason for them
and there will always be someone close
to expose us over dinner
in the company of strangers
when there is nothing even to be gained
by it anymore
but the moment’s wit and satisfaction,
the personal and reminding shame.

We’ve learned: We have no special gift
or secrets.
The lies we tell ourselves
are the same as any others’.
We can’t run forever from our ghosts.

But still we punish ourselves for years
live out our lives in the shadow
of our own remembering
telling our stories any way we can
long after life has forgotten
or forgiven us because of it.