I might have a present for you, this time.

All gifts are lies.  But I don't think you'd want

for me to come here with nothing for you,

with nothing when I've already given,

when you've seen the somethings stuck in my teeth,

when, well, really, it goes without saying

that, well, I think we both know I'd be right

to point out that we don't need a story,

that the songs we know are the songs we sing,

that this for you is—well, yes, agreed then.

So what? you can guess what I have for you.

All the better the surprise, because

the biggest present is the biggest lie.

originally published  in The Brooklyn Rail