In denial, my mother thought her a temptress;
my wife, an adulteress. To me, she was an albatross
around my neck, the confiscated office hard drive
revealing TO: Princess FROM: Mr. Dork.
So charmed was I that I saw her as equally at fault
(appearing at my door with an open robe
barely covering her underwear), an assault
on all my senses by this teenage neighbor.
I caved in to temptation on my living room rug,
the family asleep in their bedrooms nearby,
telling myself I was the victim, not she;
she the perpetrator, not me.
She had learned long before that sex meant love,
that seduction was control over life gone awry.
Meeting me on the back stairs gave her power
to hurt another as she had been harmed.
Just a young teen waiting for me on the air mattress
in their dingy apartment while her father was at work.
But it was all about me, about my lost chances,
last dances, my out-of-control life.
She was a nobody with compelling attraction,
a toy on my path to gratuitous self-destruction.
A kid, really, who gained temporary reign over
her world, important enough for betrayal.
A pitiful little nobody trying to become somebody
by playing the adult game. And I told her once again
true love doesn’t matter, dreams will be scattered,
hope for the future is just background patter.
first published in BEHIND PRISON WALLS Chapbook
©2011 Bonnie Manion