by Lauren Iarussi

What did you think?
That I would never know?
Well, I saw it in a photo
You, there, holding it in your arms
Close to your heart
            —that thick, tabbed-up cookbook,
pages bent and smeared
from grimy thumb prints
and years of stirring up trouble,
cracking eggs into a bowl of deception.

Well, I knew it when you came to my reception
            —puffed-up, prideful,
parading and playing charades.
It was all just a board game,
and we were just the pawns
subject to the rolling of the dice.

I saw your twin in the mirror
            —who you could have been
(if you hadn’t been a lemon),
if I hadn’t read your blueprints
            —your well-developed plans for sin.
What a master architect you turned out to be.
You sure fooled me
when I was only listening to the melody.
But I’ve learned to hear the lyrics
            —loud and clear.
Despite your sneaky, soft feet
you left footprints.
I see them now
            —defined and deep
in the sand where I stand.
But I smile now
            —now that I know
I can
and live
and let go.