“I never said,” he once reminded me,
“that I was perfect.” No, that was one claim
he hadn’t made, though he had ardently
declared his love—and I had done the same.
The sheer naiveté of his clichés
(“Light of my life!” “I’ve never felt like this!”)
made him appear unfit to run the maze
that clever cheaters must. But to dismiss
my routine reservations, and to find
in rough charm signs of raw integrity,
of course made me the one of mouse-like mind.
In truth, his labyrinthine perfidy—
as clumsy as his fraudulent affection—
matched any rat’s, but fell short of perfection.