John Grey | The Other in the Bed

The Other in the Bed


She's next to me.
Not a life
but a body.
Breathing sure
but wholly in her dreams,
not in the situation.

I can't make love to her.
I can't even speak to her.
Can't see her face
as it's half in the pillow,
half tucked up to her knees.
She's a carcass.
She's flesh and nothing more.

And so the bed
is cut in half.
One side is occupied by mass,
the other by restlessness.
Is that why we married?
To reduce my spaces?

And then she rolls over.
What's this?
She's even come for
the little I have left.
Light as she is
she could squash me
like a gnat.
For she is solid,
spoken for by sleep.
And I am fitful,
head buzzing,
living on, not in, my skin.

But suddenly
her arm flops over my chest.
She's hugging me
even if she doesn't know it.
She's warm. I feel wanted.
Maybe she dreams of me.
Sure, subconscious is the place to be.
But, at least, being conscious is not wasted.


—John Grey

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