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At Night

Every night,
I make a fort in my bed.

I have five pillows;
I line four of them around me
Each one pointing in one cardinal direction.
The last one I use for holding on, so I don’t fall
off the Earth, because I know how close I am
to that actually happening if I’m not careful.

I settle on my side
Facing the curtainless window;
Always looking at either the moon, stars, or
lilac night clouds;
Maybe because one day I’ll see you
Up there
Maybe because one day you’ll see me
Down here.

I grip the last pillow and hold on tightly as
I repeat a long line of lamentation prayers I learned as a child,
And I continue importuning whatever is out there
Spread out generously but silently
Like spilt blue glitter in an art classroom
Across the stardust
The moondust,
The planets and the planetoids and the planetesimals,
The asteroids,
Our Sol and Carl’s billions and billions of stars,
The comets,
The other worlds,
The galaxies and their neighborhoods,
The black holes with their Hawking radiation
Leaking information no one can read nor understand
of an ever-expanding Universe with no edge
Watching us all, up there, down here, sideways.

And sometimes, as I’m finally falling asleep,
I hear my bedroom door open a crack;
Gently, modestly, quietly, like you used to do.
I live alone but I am not afraid.

I am relieved.

And I hear your paws pitter-patter softly into my room
Sounding like soft rain on the pine-wooden floor,
Being careful not to wake me up even though
I am awake, or think I am.

And I feel you jump into my bed, into my fort,
Pad gently across the mattress until you find my back,
And after circling four times
And doing some canine calculus
A million times faster than Deep Blue could,
You let yourself plop down, unceremoniously but
Perfectly, your spine aligned with mine.

And then you let out a contented and satisfied sigh, 
Like you always did.
Like you’ve always done.
Like you always do.
Until my own day comes.


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