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,
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.