Parallel Lies
Paul McLaughlin
We live parallel lives       telling parallel lies,
like parallel rails         nailed to parallel ties:
 though bound at first for our own destinations,
  we arrive, at length, at the same distant stations.

The truth is that truth and love don't mix because total honesty
can't co-exist with trust and forgiveness, so as lovers we'd rather
tell lies to ourselves
 and lies to each other.

Love, itself, has a treacherous heart that binds us together, then blows us
a   p  a   r   t
if we don't maintain a circumspect                distance
that allows us each a separate                   existence.

When you and I forged our comforting fables                                                                                 our supportive falsehoods
                                                                                our tolerant labels,
we were learning our roles (mine--husband, yours--wife)
as we struggled to build a reciprocal life;
when our children arrived, we had already fitted our lives to our lines
and were fully committed to the stories and myths that kept us aligned
as, bearing our children 
we climbed a long hill,
 curved around a sharp bend,
  survived a dark tunnel,


where our parallels merged, and we found in each other
a soulmate to love, in truth, as no other.

July, 1999