That’s how she describes my love
life to me. As if I’m not aware
I sleep on the edge
of the king-sized bed I bought
when her mom left—nearer
the night stand, stack of books,
a lamp made out of an old
head-light from a truck.
She knows something of solitude.
Its mantle. A bit of protection, a bit
of warmth. In the morning she plays
Switch on the couch while I sleep.
Three times a day I bore her by
cooking our meals. She’ll sit in
her room and read or throw a
party for all her stuffed animal
friends. There’s Dotty, Larry, Gilbert,
Oakbrook, Cookie Dough, Pellet, Ava,
Leonin, Kelly, two foxes—both named
Sly. Sparkle, Pegasus, and Buckwheat.
One afternoon we host an elaborate
dinner with all of their favorite foods.
She expects me to speak for each
of them in different silly voices.
They bicker and bark and hiss and ask
for more lemonade and raw meat.
At night after we read and cuddle
and say our words, and when I get into bed
I think of everything that I could have
said that would have made her laugh.