The Only Time I Cheated (aka Poet’s-Past)

Sergius Hruby

The Only Time I Cheated (aka Poet’s-Past)

The only time I cheated
I did not
we were drunk
me, you and Jer
walking back from Equinox
arm in arm like a bunch of nuts
you dropped my arm
and we held hands
I transgressed:
I rubbed your thumb
I was only 21.

The only time I cheated
I did not
you were more drunk
Jer left, me waiting
at your apartment above
Lieutenant’s Pub
waiting for a lift from mom
you crashed out
you asked a kiss
it wasn’t me
you on automatic
It didn’t happen
at 21.

The only time I cheated
I did not
but came clean
“I’ve done a horrible thing!”
I said to him!
Confessed to the thumb!
Confessed to the non kiss!
Exclaimed: “He was my obsession!
For him I wrote
Got them published!
And tattooed here:
do you see it?!!!”

My lover laughed.
There was no punishment.
My lover loved.
He understood ‘poet’s-past.’

The only time I cheated
I did not
and it was with the tall man
with floppy hair
big brown eyes
who drank and wrote songs.
I wrote so many words
that magazines would print
It was my way to communicate
a lust, adoration
for him
before days of the Internet.

I tattooed his band’s CD emblem
a band of flowers around my arm
to symbolize a sealed ring
from which flowed inspiration
from brain and groin
to pen and journals
to magazines and broadsheets
and to arts sections in newspapers
I couldn’t stop channelling my interest
in him.

I tattooed our essence, Muse,
over top the flowers upon my arm
to symbolize my dance with your devil
by a sea in the dark
and a garland of monster
tentacles wrapped around your bod
like my words you inspired
in one book, two books
Russell Square Station, now.

I tattooed our essence, Muse,
over top the flowers upon my arm
to finalize this musing business
for once and once for all SHALL STOP!
From 21 to 41, that’s 20 years of
focused thought
on creative men who write their songs
and never give me a second thought.

But hold on —

Among all our friends and fans and things
who have gotten married and have their kids
There’s you and me — single, you cheating
vibrant, solo, still managing
And having produced something of our own
that artistic connection:
– your album
– my writing
Your loneliness
My life
When people ask you if you’re married
if you have kids, what do you say?
If truly ‘that’ never happened before
then I might not be the only one thinking something
when I come
Is there any part of your brain that registers a bit
that we two made one
and that while I call you a cunt
it’s me the vicious bitch
I gave you no say in your mistake
I should triumph in this.

Yesterday I wrote a vicious poem
ready to whisk you away, did you see it?
Today, that first muse of whom i’m talking
whose music I loved
— was in touch.
How random! It felt quite fun
and light and beyond and above
anything romantic, just nostalgic.

The only time I cheated
I did not
and it was that first Muse
to whom I wrote and published
my words
about whom I got tattooed.
I would love to tell him about you.

I wonder in my future
if like a divorced man I date
has children
and says that his priorities
has always got to be them
If I can say, ‘No problem’
and that I have focus, too
He’s a sonofabitch from London
with a fucking face full of attitude
and a gait that shakes your frame
whose coldness sends chills down spines
whose charm amazes
after he’s soaked his blades
and tongue in hot liquor
sharp find.

Might I wish that my future lover
That there will be no punishment?
Will my new lover love and
understand my poet’s-past?

Sylvie Hill 2015