I wrote this poem after a futile attempt I made to try to change the sheets on our bed while my wife was out of town. I worked diligently to fit the elastic sheet on our queen-size mattress for quite some time only to realize I was holding a twin-size sheet. I began to wonder how widowers make their beds without wives to guide them…
Our fingertips danced once
As we walked them along the edges of our mattress,
Calling out to each other with the strength
Of smiling eyes, crossing
The queen-sized canyon to hold each other’s glances.
You carefully studied the measured lines
(and I carefully studied yours) as
We fitted the sheets to our new bed,
Working to weave our souls into the cool linen.
Our laughs soared as we
Ballooned the top sheet into space
And hushed to join the quiet whisper as it
Exhaled into bed like a cloud drifting in the water.
We collapsed in symmetry
Gliding into a forever of sleep and wakefulness,
Circling the clock.
And, next to you, I prayed, only
For more clocks.
For now I can taste the stale grime of
Breathing through the ribcage of rusted vents
And stretch my cracked knuckles across the
Bare-boned cold of our bed,
Pulling a twin sheet with all my heart
You would know why it doesn’t fit
And how I am afraid
To join the quiet whisper as I
Exhale into bed,
A cloud without its water.