I had no real desire to follow rules,
just never much chance to break them.
I drank whatever the soccer girls handed me,
made a mental list of things to do
after they taught me Never Have I Ever
and I didn’t lose a single round.
Warm-bellied and dizzy, I ambled arm-in-arm
through the house with my most sharp-tongued teammate,
now cheerful and open to suggestion.
Together, we recited the Ten Commandments
from a plaque on the wall,
laughter breaking every Thou shalt not.
On the back porch, the goalkeeper told me stories:
other sins, other parentless nights.
Her voice, so powerful during games,
was hushed and sweet. She tried
to blow smoke rings with a cigar.
I watched each lazy U
dissipate in the porch light.
She asked, Can you keep secrets?
and I swore I could.