When he rises first, steps downstairs
softly in darkness to stir up the fire, start coffee,
and the dog, who’s slept heavy as my dead
across the end of the bed, rises and follows,
when both cats uncoil from their corners,
rev their small engines to follow
the dog and the man because being cats
they must know every action,
then I slide my whole body to the bed’s exact center,
stretch into an octopus, sea star,
DaVinci’s Vitruvian woman or man,
until with my backbone, I discover the ridge
between valleys two bodies make in a bed
no matter how hard they try
to be one. No matter the mattress, no matter
the love, no matter the years.
I lie still as long as I can, pinned straight through
the heart by gravity and luck
to this bed in this room in these trees by a creek,
night sky turning once more to day.
Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 21, Issue 4
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