On mattresses, in the loose weave of sheets,

it’s what we left behind

where we slept, Sioux Falls, South Dakota

and points west.


Some nights, our lips just brushing

before a chaste sleep,

we must have left few,

a half million or so, say.


The vacancy sign stayed lit all night

while the prairies cooled.

The rumble of semis—doubles, triples—

was a soothing bass line.


The nights we made love, though,

as we did once

still glistening from the pool,

whole layers must have been lost,


perhaps billions of cells from knees,

heels, buttocks, breasts.

That must explain why

I was buoyant

for days on end, some of my own

ink-blue darkness

shed in the night, like a snake’s

seasonal, discardable skin.



Photo By: Kenneth Moyle