if i had never known a man;
one who would order
for me, not because he
must, but because he could;
if i had never known that
man, would every thing be

in all those years,
when i was trying to be
A Good Wife, when all the
future existed with him
and without Him, lying
enshrouded, clouded like
green sugar splayed over a

in all those years,
when i held only to the
kind words of thieves
in the night, when the
silver of my youth failed to
stand well in the light of
age, in the faceless
names of babies

before them
before that
before you
refused to answer
the unanswerable,
was i the Cat
Cat on the rooftop
Cat in the moonlight


i remember
the press of your
its back against my
arm, up and down and
up and up while all the
others looked on; the
tremulous touch of
uncertainty, as that
surreptitious finger failed
to claim what was already

we never know for
certain the marks we
leave; will they last past
morning, will the secrets
that we carry fade, so that
not even the men who
know us well enough to
order, will recognize
them, will recognize

so have i come back,
in the end, to the
ruin  of my childhood,
to the places i was known
before, when all was still
vanity, and the end
was still only the

when who i thought
i was, was who i wanted
to be, whenever, if ever
i grew up.

© srogers 7th january 2012


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