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.

#1

Six years I slept

with a small body nestled against mine.

Not conducive

to deep sleep, but assuaging

a deep seated hunger,

for touch,

for warmth,

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.

Having to

nag,

beg,

tease

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.

and #2

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

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