The Next Morning

The lovers laugh
As they fall asleep.
The chimes of their bells
Ringing in each other’s mouths,
Still ringing in each other’s bodies.

Later, they dream of losing each other in fantastic ways.
One thinks of a bear attacking their camp ground,
And wonders which one would defend the other.
One dreams of an earthquake
That splits the world in two,
And spits them on opposite sides of a great hole.

They wake and look cautiously
Through the slits in their eyes.
At each other, at the room, and the changing world.
Is this the same world that they put to rest last night?
Is this the same world that their bodies together
Mourned and celebrated?

They stand and shake night off their shoulders.
(hesitating for a moment)
Is this the same world—full of disappointment
And predictable sadness?

They rise,
But some of their parts stay behind.
The shadows of their bodies on the sheets
Stay put, holding one another lightly.
While morning turns to day,
And the day broadcasts the world to them,
They remain, refusing
To acknowledge
The light in the window.

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