free one

Despite the last few months of conversation,

sifting through the wreckage,

things came up between them

which made him sick to hear.

He had confessed and admitted to everything,

which made it easier to bear.

Allowed her to speak in cold terms of how he had hurt her

Although she was incensed by his betrayal,

the years between them 

lent things a degree of equanimity

What hurt her the most

Was the other woman wasn’t even that attractive

Which stung him a little

As the truth always did

Swelling membraneous regrets

From the anaphylaxis of betrayal

But she had desired him

And, together he tells her

How he loved her more than the other woman

Embarrassed but stronger for confessing

How miserable it had made him

So fleeting a pleasure

Such sustained miseries to pay for

He does not expect sympathy

His weaknesses left their mark on him

But he’s a better man

(Or he’s trying to be)

What stuck in his throat

Was she had gone to his house

Told his former wife all this

And never

Even gave

Her real name

(It meant ‘free one’)

But he knew how much,

In the end, it had cost him,


But not quite


Were he a preaching man,

He would caution against such vagaries

But he lacks the faith

To convince anyone beyond his own halting steps

Towards truth and if no one else thanks him,

He’s grateful to never think, speak or act

In such ways as to draw such things

To him again.



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