14 October 2007

Lying Down

I have a friend--I knew her first in elementary school
When we were both new to making up stories--
Who told me to "lie up."
"People ‘lie down’ when they lie about their ages,
Saying they're thirty when they're forty. And they look
So bad for thirty."

The image appeared to me: a middle-aged, sun-wrinkled, bleach-blonde
Tennis-mother, her skirt revealing age spots splattering
Across boney legs as her botox hungry face flirts with the
Sculpted instructor.

My friend swept a strand of red hair from her forehead
And looked at her reflection in the store window.

"I lie up. When I turned forty, I told people
I was forty-eight, and they said how great
I looked for my age."

"So I should say I'm eighty when I'm fifty,"
I took myself half-seriously.

"No, that’s silly. The only lies that people believe
Are the ones that are close to the truth."

That’s what I’d learned long ago.
I think I was taught by a very dark tutor.
A lie is most believed when it best mimics the truth.

Especially the ones we tell ourselves.

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