did I understand the phrase 'friends with benefits',
and by then I was past middle age. By then I was old enough
to look back at what the phrase might have meant in my youth
when the benefits were secretive; hostilities smuggled through sex
where every man and all of their acts seemed alike in nature.
They made unfriendliness as normal as insobriety.
I never knew that I was being distant, or how secretive I was
from those in every day life who really tried to be my real friends,
but in whom I could never confide or unburden the weight upon me.
Now I know the best friendship and the best benefits
are much nearer sharing a good meal, a laugh. And honesty.