When I met him, he was all wrong,
except for the way he looked (at me).
However, the basketball jersey had to go, as well
as the cracked-up ex-wife and her
several canvas bags patterned with the letter C,
as if to make a statement
that she was, indeed, a big fat cheat.

By the time I came into the picture,
she was no more of an annoyance to him,
an ink blotch filed away at the county clerk’s,
a memory of cum stains on an expensive dress he’d never seen before,
the adored mother of a boy and a girl,
whose innocence she squandered away for a few laughs and
orgasms that made her go berserk

He had almost made peace with the divorce,
but, I, the frisky girlfriend, just could not let it happen.
It was imperative that she knew I was the better choice,
that I was better suited for the places he was going.
He was so young and dumb when he met her, so naive about
her type.

I hated her.
The ex-wife, the ex-sex,
the next heartbeat away
from being found dead in her sleep
from too many barbiturates and interludes
with semi-famous freaks.
I hated the way she looked at me, at my eyes and not my feet.
The way she hid her past with layers of conformity.
I hated… hated… hated… for that to ever to become me.

She had a real knack for relying on instinct;
we all gave her that.
An indistinct tabby cat
always landing on all fours after flipping off her back.
And when it came to raising her life’s purpose,
she believed a mother is a mother, no matter the deed –
even if she couldn’t manage to get her shit off the floor
in time to pick up her kids up at school at three.

The mediator, a rat-faced man
who left his three kids for three ex-wives,
thought she was absolutely correct.
To him, an exiting wife was always legit,
It was the only way to protect a man’s wallet.
“Son,” he said to him, “someday, you will thank me”

However, he fought like a real father, because a father is
what a father does even if he can’t get off the floor
of the courthouse.
Even if, in New Mexico, the Hear ye, Hear ye’s
cast shadows over merit and raise holy assumptions
up in the air like hypodermic needles.

He never did totally win — neither did he lose completely.
And the kids – well, they decided both ways;
one went one way, the other the other,

Oh, how I would have loved to have seen a different outcome,
to see her stripped of her immaculate misperception
with both children headed in the less precarious direction.
But, that would have made the mother cry…

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