Open the old safe in the closet
with its heavy clunking door
that never locks
and fill a velvet bag
with rhinestones from your mothers shoes
and keep them there
look at them
when your door is closed and
everyone is sleeping

run your finger across the gleaming spines of
the World Book Encyclopedia 1976
white and blue and red with golden stars
and write tiny messages on the pages
go to volume L p. 416 for the next clue

have a hideout
but don’t call it that
call it the H.O.
deep in the ravine at
Lake Park
find some old boards and build
a lean-to in the mud
and the wet leaves

go behind the garage and light
some small stick on fire
go ahead
pretend it’s a cigarette

keep your secrets, my girl
keep them wrapped tight
feed them sweet crumbs and milk
and never let them go