Sleeping With His Best Friend

We lingered much too long
across the rumpled bed.
I should have sent him home;
smiled, a gentle hostess,
and closed the door behind you both.

How was I to know
(how could I not)
that when you said good night
you meant goodbye?

And if I should have known
would I have touched that carven face
those pouting lips?

I shut the door behind you alone
and turned to see him smiling there,
knowing why I’d let him stay;
knowing what I would not say
until it was too late.

At times when minds are silent
lips and tongues and thighs can shout
a rough-voiced yes into the sweaty chest
and crumpled sheets.

When he dared me
to tell the truth,
should I have lied?

M.A. Mohanraj
November 30, 1994