Academic journal article Michigan Quarterly Review

The King-Sized Bed

Academic journal article Michigan Quarterly Review

The King-Sized Bed

Article excerpt

I am already thinking of rolling around that expanse,

tossing a leg without entangling. The way I am,

though, I see all the possibilities for loss. I see us

pillowed and billowed, supported in exactly the right

hollows by ergonomically designed, pocketed coils,

while beneath it all-the pea under a royal height

the oppressed, the downsmashed, sleep in despoiled

cardboard boxes, or three on one frayed blanket.

Think of us, spread out, tongues on the rampage,

marking where we'll kiss. Oh wild God, how can

you permit this excess? How could any of us gauge

the exact distance at which people turn strangers

to each other? In our double bed-called double,

but we have been bumper-cars and cliff hangers

on it for years, our shorter ancestors troubling

us still-I can't even turn sideways and raise my knee

without poking my dear love in the groin.

We have been close, we have understood each

other the way people in tight houses start growing

into each other-at a molecular level, absorbing

each other's pheromones. …

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