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A Bed of Strangers


He says Good morning awkwardly,

head perhaps leaning

towards a hushed lamp

and she replies simply, Hi,

as if they were just meeting,

the morning and then the night

unwinding itself. Her arm

around his open chest

they could be lovers, he asks,

Did you sleep well?

And in his head questions

Where can I touch you?

She would say, I like to be kissed

on my bicep. If they were lovers,

he would know this about her,

that her moans are louder

with fingers lightly brushing

the beauty-mark on her right thigh.

She says, It’s hard for me to sleep

once the sun rises, and would like

to curl his hair between her lips.

He thinks about being inside her again,

instead makes a comment

about the weather

and they go on, until he begins

to cradle her bicep

the way morning and then night

unwinds itself. He says,

Your skin tastes sweet

and wonders about brushing his teeth

she says, I like how the rays

are bursting through the curtains,

he replies something about wanting

to stay in bed for hours

and she watches the sun

touch his brow with its long fingers.

The day is moving along his face,

she can see this and wonders

about brushing her teeth.

He says, I want to throw the sheets

on the floor.

He says this because the sun

makes him feel spontaneous

and she says nothing,

feels his fingers slip inside her,

her eyes shut or observing

the beads of sweat above his eyebrows,

and the sun lays its rays

on a corner of the mattress

where a foot may have dug deeply

into the spring.

Nika Levikov