once upon a time,
I’d have told you my obsession is with impression,
but the truth is –
I’m obsessed with conquering,
with engineered attention,
with admiration

with myself

and you –
you are my latest project,
my conduit,
my fiddle

I’ll play you religiously,
fine tuning until I’m playing you against yourself,
plucking and plucking until I find the perfect note,
and I won’t let up until you’re a refrain without a chorus

I know –
it’s dangerous to think you know too much about a person,
because who really knows someone else?

it seems like you only scratch the surface,
never getting to the meat of someone else,
into their bones

but I don’t think that’s true,
because you can tirelessly nibble and bite and burrow,
until you’re living just beneath the surface of their skin,
a nagging itch they can’t help but scratch,
their internal compass bending and twisting,
until it is pointing directly toward you

all you need to know is what they fear most