When someone prods a weakness
the personality coils around it.
This is why secrets are scarved in anger,
especially among those like me,
men whose hearts are built from ancient tissue,
whose worst vanities become ringed
by arrogance or silence or laughter.
To hurt is to remember
the unambiguous tyrant
your manners and intuition
had costumed in amity,
to be a body built of mirrors
to be yourself
without regard for being yourself,
casting off from Elba
with a map
and a favorable wind.