It’s kind of embarrassing, but I’m writing poetry again. It’s all supaluv’s fault, really, because he keeps assigning us poetry exercises when no one in our group has stories on the block.
So here are two about sleeping. Both of them inspired by girl2.
Six years I slept
with a small body nestled against mine.
to deep sleep, but assuaging
a deep seated hunger,
for the sour sweet smell of a human reaching
to touch skin to skin in the night.
Hard for a morning person to mate with a night-owl,
Always feeling alone.
to make sure he is there
protecting you from ghosts in the dark closet,
or else you lay awake,
heart pounding, afraid to move.
And now she wants
to leave me, too.
To warm her own space
under the futon,
sprawled in every direction
without the soft barrier of my fleshy side
to contain her.
I meant to do the laundry
but you fell asleep
and I sat, pinioned to the couch, with your warm weight
and I could not stop staring at the flush
in your cheeks or close my ears to your rasping breath
I meant to sweep the floor
but time folded itself in your twitching, fragile eyelids
and you grew up and moved far away
I did not know the color of your winter coat
or how you took your coffee
because the weight of the laundry pile, uncooked rice, dirty floor
was heavier than that of a three year old girl asleep in my arms