With eyes closed I wake up in my old room

a curve of a hip, a fabric dumpling

in a lavender and crème quilt. 


Sandalwood and coffee pour in through a heat vent 

above my sleeping breath

it dried out my nostrils and palms

but it was the warmest room I’ve ever had 

until this one. 


A golden armchair was swaddled 

by the north and east walls 

near a low hanging window.


My rat was buried just outside the following summer.

I recall the silence from the hardwood

lapping the edge of my mattress

like the lip of this bed, but more royal.


Years later I am again on the floor.

In a new room I find a breath somewhere

in the middle of my back it seeps—back.


A patch of carpet in a broad closet

my rat would rip pages of Woolfe 

and nest with them in the corners.


Now the entire space is sprawling with rug

and my rat is dead. 


In silence I miss you one month at a time.

My mattress sustains my spine through all of this,

soft patience, 

and in the missing older loss pops like a back crack, 

like finding a hip in the night

though you forgot you were not alone.


Like remembering an old bed

in the warmest corner of a Midwestern house

with a screened in porch out back.