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It was stag scene, locker room talk, just stood there shocked as worth he mocked. We were same age, seniors high school, romance and love my heart did rule. Why would he choose to slash with tongue? Simple vengeance? Weren’t getting none?

Called her a slit, spelled with an “i,” disparaging, wondering why. Was it his age? Was it the year? Just turned eighteen, so cavalier. Was it self worth that manchild lacked? Had they that day had lovers spat?

Everyone’s flawed, we all got ghosts, fascinating, telling riposte his words revealed what he was worth. Self assurance abundant dearth? Stab in the back and deprecate? Something she’d done, turned castigate?

Today’s birthday, turns fifty-nine, thirty-one years been on my mind. Never told her what boy did say, what’d be the point her worth to fray? Sherwood High School, Route one-oh-eight, did he feign love? Was it self-hate?

So every year, February, twenty-seventh birthday on feed I wish her well, “Happy birthday!” and mind goes back words boy did say. Called her a slit, spelled with an “i,” disparaging, wondering why. Words that did shout about his soul, hope he’s grown up not just grown old.