the careful architecture on his side
of the bed: pillows stacked horizontally,
the ones in front in taller columns,
a hand towel shading the reading lamp,
casting dampered light
on his absence.
On her side, jumbled linens,
errant silver dog hairs,
a throw piled in the center
of their catawampus raft,
as if to separate his loot from hers.
A keeling vessel they’ve shimmed
with the thinnest of chapbooks,
tossed sweaters and tights
smelling of yesterday,
half-spent ampoules of water,
bite guard, body butter,
an alarm clock flashing noon:
too long on display,
like Christmas lights in March,
as if they’d already disappeared—
a head-on crash, a kick
from a startled horse, a simultaneous
fatal slip in the shower.