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.