A History of Hiding

By Brian D. Morrison
December 5th, 2015

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Be ready for anything. Like
a childhood game, believe it

can be, and it will be. The leaf
you laid on your tongue,

tonight, means invisibility,
though the dogs can smell you.

Cling to black walls like ivy
craving its vertical path.

Bury yourself in fallen branches
silent as you should be. Call

your own name for the thrill of it.
The only shape sans

streetlight, you are the length
of eyes, corner to corner,

or as much under half moon.
Unknowable, you are

the entirety of night. The other
children will never find you,

leaf-mouthed. You will not look
for them. Be satisfied

with the variance that doesn’t
exist in the dark. This is what

it means to be grown up, what it is
underneath: Everything can be

found in the absence of those
who have taken it.

Cultivate yourself as spectacle
without so much as a movement.

If the leaf can hold, the tongue stay
still, you stand a chance

of amazing things, you think.
And in thinking, you do

not move: The enormity of it all
is heavier than the moon

would be if it fell to you, and you—
alone with the dark, unseen

in a game of get or be gotten,
America, prosperity—

do as you’ve been taught. Hide
and seek at the same time.