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  • Samantha Hoch

The Secret Life of Girls

Updated: Nov 7, 2019

This poem is after "Quiet Machine" by Ada Limon.

I’m learning so many ways to keep secrets. There’s the way I don’t respond, and the way I dodge the question, those are the easy ways. The way I study the pebbles on the ground like I’m interested in their world, that’s another way. The way I pretend not to see you when you pass me in the grocery aisle, the way phone calls and emails slip past me. Sometimes I cross the street when I see you coming, because I know speaking will reveal me, even if it’s not been said. There’s the way I put makeup on my secret bruises, and always wear long sleeves. The way I change my bandages: in hiding; the way I change my hair: to cover one eye. There’s school secret and work secret; staying deep in whatever tasks I am given, no-questions-asked secret. There are the pills I chase with whiskey, they keep my secrets too. The secret’s in the quiver behind a spurious smile; a laugh too loud draws attention to secret shadows that the sun threatens to reveal. Negative space secrets. Between the lines secrets. Broken promise secrets. Secrets screaming at the canvas through bloody red paint. Slight of hand secrets. Circumlocution secrets. Secrets of a broken girl. Months of secrets; years of secrets. Secret until I die. Secret until I realize: you’re keeping secrets too.

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