Putting Baby to Bed

Putting Baby to Bed

Half-displaced, half lost,
stumbling into the kitchen
to brew coffee, eight o’clock,
sleep reading the news on line,
sleep driving the van to work,
I’m practicing my new life
without a body.

The one I have is shot.
My lover has left me for dead.
In body days, erogenous days,
you’d find us in the mornings,
fresh from sex, in coffee shops,
the heavy cream dripping
from our lips and mugs.

Now at Starbucks, Second Cup,
Daily Grind, a placid grace —
a second sleep — is coming on.
I’m laying down my storybook,
turning me over onto my back,
putting baby, my body, to bed,
hoping not to wake him up.


©James L. Ralston


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