there was no way to know
one of these guys
would be a child molester
they were just four guys
wearing beige slacks and button-up shirts
        your standard uniform of suburban bliss
each with a beer in his dominant hand

I was the fifth guy
I didn’t own beige slacks at the time
but the guys still placed a beer in my hand
and asked only the one question about what I did
(which was slightly better than what I’d done before)

the party was a housewarming
I’d caught the subway and waited
on two connecting buses
to be there

my girlfriend was in the kitchen with the women
and her friend who would learn one day
who she had married

there was really no way to predict
how deep the awful would get

these days that girlfriend is my wife
and I own beige slacks and button-up shirts
        your standard uniform of suburban bliss
and I catch this new imposter in the mirror
and remind myself we’re all hiding things