Constant Background

I carry all of you
with me everywhere.
One of you said:
doesn’t it get crowded
in your head that way?
Every love fits
nestled together, not Russian dolls
one shell in the other,
but more like spooning;
whoever is physically there
to the foreground
but the rest never absent.
Trembling, I recall
the last time I held a particular
body, kissed a particular
breast or shoulder,
my heart expanding always;
I doubt there is a limit
to the space in it
one love reinforcing, incorporating,
revealing another;
my demons all the more apparent
for each time they rear up
multiplied by all the instances
of jealousy and pettiness
and each of you, seeing my smallness
kisses my back more gently
than I could ever imagine
joy running down my cheeks.
How could it be otherwise?


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