The NaPoWriMo prompt today was to write a poem about a lie.
The Wrong Thing to Say
I told her that I loved her
because otherwise what we’d done
went against everything I’d been taught
about relationships since that afternoon
when I was 7 and I asked my mother
How are babies made?
My mother’s response had been vague
platitudes and diversions
but, hey, I was seven
and the only thing that stuck with me
was the idea that sex before marriage
constituted a Horrible Sin
easily avoided by the righteous.
It took me a few years to
do the math and
count the months between
my parents’ marriage and my birth
and realize my Blessed Virgin Mother
had once been a flesh-and-blood girl
not above a little sin now and then
as long as it was justified by Love.
But the ear I whispered into now
was unfamiliar to me and even if
I wanted my words to be true
in a half-hearted way
there was no chance they could have been
as we sat naked on her bed and
exchanged the banal information
usually associated with a first date.
She did not question my words but
allowed them to pass unacknowledged
even as they burrowed their way
into her subconscious
where they lay dormant until
I realized a few weeks later
just how untrue they were and
decided to come clean on
an afternoon that did not go well.
Love and Sex do not always meet
in those sweaty dark rooms of
our late adolescence where
impulses override principles
leaving behind cognitive dissonance
that we cannot resolve with
an I-love-you bandage
once we’re thinking properly again.
Better to remain quiet and
enjoy the moment for what it is:
a bad idea that felt great
a one-time trip to the moon
a learning experience
hopefully devoid of consequence
and best never mentioned again.