For years he was the left side of our bed,
there first each night and face down in the sheets,
an obstacle I climbed to reach my space
against the wall. Once in, I faced the soft
moon waxing over us and understood
poor meant mattress with a brother.
Sometimes when he mumbled in his sleep
I listened carefully, and then rose up to write
down every word. But often he just turned
and turned, his body restless where it lay,
the fever of his skin against my skin, though I
stayed still to keep from rolling into him.
There were mornings when, on waking, I would
find him nested, a bird beneath my arm.
Of course I pushed away. I'd learned and loved
the taste of girls, wore aftershave to cover
sweat, swigged beer from paper bags, a hint
of hair on chin, all sinew, swagger, brag.
But one day he became a road, the sprawl
of moonlight, glowing sheet. Creepers
inked their leaves upon his back, then swayed
in gentle wind across his cheek. The motion
teased a dark dance on his marble curves.
Crossing over, I never thought to swerve.