I am direct when, as I rise to the daylight’s challenge,
I say: appreciate the oyster for its difficult shell.
I am wearing no such metaphor on my own armor.
It is hard for me not to love the oyster
for such impenetrability. I burst into fragments inside
from quick, combustible self-disgust whenever
I use the word “I.” Who is here? Get out, musher, mingler.
Don’t remember letting this one have the reins.
Do not like to speak of this, so don’t push.
No oyster here, full of salt and sloppy gut.
Don’t care that you think this could be easily consumed,
a luxury for the luxurious. The rings of this shell,
ragged, a terrace whose contours could be read
well enough from outside, ought to tell you: get back.
Get out of my head, you miserable self. Get back from
the perimeter, readers, interpreters. Not here for it,
not your delicacy. You get what you are shown
and are entitled to little more than, perhaps,
a vain attempt to handle what looks like little more
than a rock. Put it down. Back away. Don’t assume
it will open in due time, in your time. Long time
you will wait for that, driver, handler. What is offered
is all. What is held back? Guess again and again.
No oyster here. It could be empty. It could.