At age 12, I read The Secret Garden
and craved a hidden space of my own.
I spent the heat of that summer
combing pine needles in the forest,
scouting clearings of rock and marsh,
lusting after a corner, quiet
and undiscovered. A neighbour caught me
sneaking onto his property with heavy shovels
and sent me away.
At age 23, the city is my forest
and I'm still trying to carve my name
into one of its cement trees. I roam
grey office buildings, holding my breath
before I force the door to the rooftop, tense
while wondering if the fire alarm will scream, planning
quick exit strategies. I'm still chasing
dusty corners like forgotten secrets.