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Butterfly

how things might be different . . .
i wonder what it would be like if i had
put out for you that first night we met
if i had opened myself up for you
just like that
something there was in the sight of you
that made me feel
uninhibited intuitive pretty dumb
the slave i might be for you
unguarded and alert
a night bloom instant in the crickets’ choral
shade your ready eager maiden
but this was a service i deferred
in that darkness i demurred

would we be speaking still
would i be the mother of your children
or the mother of somebody else’s
a senator at thirty or a senator’s wife
would i collect the kids from piano practice
in pearls and a “Little Miss Gold Digger” baby tee
can you imagine me
head down ass up every weekend on the floor
down on some new someone’s rug
would they be friends of yours
would you be a friend of mine
would i be a friend to myself even
or how would i know the difference?

would i be better off would you
would i be back in school would i be
some kind of bishop a teacher a concubine
mouthing prayers with berry-stained lips or
a poet paying her bills with her throat would i
have a septum ring would i wear it out
or flip the retainer up inside
would i have tried
less tried harder would i be
dead
would i be alive even
would either of us know how to care would i ever
call you or would you still call me?

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