She was a liar—pathological,
I mean—and so, when we had our last fight
And she left screaming, it was logical
To trash the photos of our trashed delight—
All cuddle-headed, grinning in the light
Of barroom neon signs, our faces rising
Above the glassy necks of bottles—, right?
Delete her number, cut her friends, reprising
All she had purred in bed as fantasizing.
Why wear the tattoos of an episode
Of which the facts, in fact, were mere disguising,
Signified nothing, or less than they showed?
But those hot pleasures I took on her flesh
Couldn’t be forgot or—better—had afresh.
She said she was in nursing school: a lie.
A lie, that she had moved to town to care
For her frail grandmother—who had just died.
Her grandpa had been a preacher; knelt in prayer,
She sometimes heard his voice. It left her scared,
Or so she said, but it was all untrue.
The night we met, she wore no underwear,
And when my hand slipped up her leg, I soon
Felt the warm folds where her thighs met. “Do you
Believe a man and woman should be married
Before they make love? I do. I think I do,”
She whispered, warm lips to my ear. I carried
Her to her room, hearing the tentative tone.
A whopper: I was the first to make her moan.
She gave me what I wanted, that’s for sure,
And usually several times a night. As she
Straddled my hips and arched, I felt as pure
As any knight who’d raise, in charity,
An orphaned student nurse from poverty.
When I found condom wrappers in the chest
Beside her bed, when we met—constantly—
Frat boys who bought her shots and eyed her chest
As if they’d seen it oftener than the rest
Of her, my ears would drink in every excuse:
The rubbers, her old roommate’s; she confessed
The boys were family friends she couldn’t lose,
Having lost so much in her life already.
Not me, I’d mouth. Oh, no, I’m true and steady.