The Twin Bed by JJ Lynne
For years we slept near, but apart—separated
by crib bars and bunk ladders climbing toward
the gutted glow of ceiling-stuck stars,
our museum display of uranium moths.
When we moved, they stayed on,
and the new house was a lidded jar.
How could we sleep without the familiar
beating of wings or the pinholes of light
that shone on our limbs like a film, flickering?
The first week you crept in and stayed for three years,
pressing your spine against my ribs. Two flailing fish
fighting in a twin bed not meant for twins, but
for one child to grow into like a leather glove
that could not stretch to fit. The battle
for boundary began with each shut lid, ending
when the alarm sounded, waving a white flag.
The tension kept us locked like rams, twisting
into one another until our bodies became a figure-
eight, an infinity bound in a shared crown of braids.
Eventually age came as a fine-toothed saw,
performing a deconjoining that laid out
two beds like tin foil sheets cut for self-preservation.
When the boiler dies at 3 A.M. in December,
I hate that you learned to wear independence
like a hand-knit blanket, each stitch formed
as a placeholder for our knocking elbows and legs.
When I leave my bed, I still see two impressions
couched in the pillows by Gemini’s heads
and wonder where yours has been resting.
JJ Lynne is a poet and photographer who makes a living as owner of the popular Etsy shop All You Need is Pug. Her writing and artwork have appeared or are forthcoming in PANK, Hobart, Stirring, A Narrow Fellow, and Spry, among others. JJ is co-editor of poetry for the literary journal Paper Nautilus.