Guilt bows down before the simplicity of
It’s late afternoon.
On come trousers.
A shirt is hastily buttoned.
Light is withdrawing from the room.
And this is not the sex that ends in sleep.
Even small talk is curtailed.
She’s still curled up in the sheets and says nothing.
You trust in her silences.
A litany of duties is laid out before you.
You must become once more
the other guy,
the one who calls in at the store for milk,
whose wife is even now
peeling onions for that night’s supper,
her eyes tearing up
as if they know more than she does.
And there’s the boy’s lacrosse game to be attended.
And the girl’s homework
to be fortified by your presence.
There are lives lived beyond your life
that you need to account for.
Not just the one with the lovely throat,
that fancy melody of lips and hair.
You invoke “family man”
like it’s a secret identity.
No time to wonder
who shows his true face,
who wears the mask.
So off you drive,
foot to the floor,
aping an ambulance,
hell-bent to save a life
or be on time for your next appointment.