You can say, now,
whatever you like
to whomever is your latest life raft.
You can say that I faked you out,
told you lies;
that I was just costume jewelry masquerading as diamonds--
But we both know, don't we,
that you knew from the start, the woman I was?
In the softness of our bed, on pretty blue and white sheets,
you would goad me.
What about Denise?
What about Debbie?
What would you do to them?
When you did this, I would demur,
hesitant as any Catholic girl ever was,
but not because of sorrowful, crucified Jesus above me on the wall, beyond your shoulder--
it was because you were touching something that was only mine,
hidden so well, that even I had nearly lost it.
In the end, those nights, you won.
Despite anything, I did care for you, and loved to please you.
Oh, the things I said, with my lips to your ear...
how your body gave you away,
filling me with a pride of power in my words,
but during our time together, I had not even the power to live in the world as myself.
When you came to your senses,
you would wrap my head in your arms, lower your face close to mine,
and, smiling, say,
"My girl. My girl."
I was not even my own girl, not then.
We had a house, a child, a nice yard.
You planted a smoke tree,
and the young apple tree was mine.
They are still there, you know.
Bigger, doing well,
and belonging to someone else.
for dverse poetics: the beautiful sadness
I really wanted to add The Beatles' "Norwegian Wood" here, but copyright prevents me from doing so.