I barged into her room
only to find her praying.
and looked up in silence
like the time she caught me spying
as she undressed.
But then she did not cover herself:
her arms even fell by her sides
so that I could see better.
But all I could see were her eyes.
9 November 1988
The problem with the truth, the real truth, is that it’s not simple and as such can’t be expressed in simple terms. What’s going on in this poem? Someone, presumably a man, intrudes on a woman while she’s praying and his mind is immediately thrown back to a previous invasion of privacy only that time there was intent: he wanted to see. Seeing is important to men. I’m told it’s not as important to women but I’m a man and I just can see why anyone wouldn’t want to see. Seeing’s great. It’s also disappointing because once you see you’ve seen; the past tense rushes in and ruins everything. Voyeurs want to see more than most, they’ll go out of their way to see things, but the turn on is not being seen seeing. If they know you’re watching then it’s spoiled. They change. They perform or chide you or close the curtains. Or scream, “Muuuuum! He’s doing it again.”