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Daniel Paley Ellison Daniel Paley Ellison

Sleeping Bodies

The sun pops below the bridge,
and in the next room, your sleeping bodies

may be having a dream that shakes your flesh.
Pale gray shadows from the street lights

hover on the ceiling in rectangles.
For the first time, you are just two bodies,

getting closer to death—
tired in the late afternoon

when you laid them down in my bed.
I thought, Yes. You have done vicious things.

It is the first time I think I'll bury you,
on a sunset

much like tonight's—
or take your ashes

to the sea
and the tiny bits

of what I've called mother and father—
I'll throw into the waves.

Hitchhiking West

Hop on in, he said. Not to worry—
take this towel and dry yourself.

Inside the tractor trailer's cab, that April night,
he winked to me, I don't mind at all

if you get out of those wet clothes.
The windshield wipers parted the spring rains.