Sleepless

I’m lying in bed, naked, alone
sleep is elusive
my lovers come to mind randomly
times we’ve had, times not yet
the sheets are cool against my skin
I used to long for someone, anyone
nights like this, skin to my skin
opening my bed to people unworthy to share it,  violating myself
now I  have more alone nights than not
by choice,  desire subject to self care
remembering the feel of her skin, hers,
the total enclosure and safety of his big spoon
none of this profound, and all of it
more complete than any previous fantasy.

Love is random and inexplicable
I remember looking across the room of her cousins
out in the country, just back
from my first slightly terrifying
horseback ride
our eyes meet and I know that night
we will again be skin together
in the small old bed, in a house
full of history but no ghosts;
or seeing another lover,  our weekly after-class date,
come in my house, throw her arms around my neck
her playfulness, hair thick in my hand;
or memories of other lovers now separate,
joyful and sad simultaneously;
or recalling the feel of his head
stubble under my palm
my arm around our mutual partner
relaxed, joyous,  after a meal out.
Moments slide one into another
nightlight on,  I’m sixty years old
and sometimes still afraid of the dark;
sleep still eludes, but memory sliding past,
scene passing into scene, unwinds
the tension I hadn’t even noticed
and then it is morning
another day I can allow transparency
another day more full than the one just past

 

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