The Sheeted Bed Did Squeak and Gibber

I

A face print on a
pillow, still-warm sheets

the craft-of-us, it blossoms
in our every scampering

thought, we will pester the
day’s frame maker for more

pinches and squeals, yet
draw from depths a love

that ever comes, even
as we sleep.

II

a dimpled morning light crawls
up the arm of another day, advancing
like a rash, and the bathroom mirror
scans my face, while my mind’s eye
scans yours

forgiveness, like a parade with floats
sure, but the slope of this patch
will drain and pool somewhere
a tepid steep of contrition
that’s what it reminds me of

when we pretend to agree
I zip my face closed and cough up a
smile, perfected in its shambles
and relaxed, like a prickly thing
warding off the bothers
with preemptive skin

III

the thread of these laundered sheets
that can’t retain the lay of her land

I pull the lint filter from the dryer
and mount it, framed, to the wall

bedposts still lean to the slant of her
repose, window-light leering, wants

are cooing and teasing in the heat
of breathing, I awaken to the elbows

of memory and cool wet spots
the small talk of exquisite missteps

a specter haunting the big tent
with its randy elephants and clowns