Sleeping Around on the Woman Within

Sleeping Around on the Woman Within

Eventually the woman comes along
who snubs you for someone younger.
But it doesn’t bend you out of shape.

He’s half the man you are, you think,
and who understands personal taste.
Plus on the whole you are content

to sleep alone. No great difference,
sleeping alone or holding someone else.
Different pressures. Different dreams.

Now you sleep with the woman within.
And when you want to sleep around,
you go round the world with Erica Jong,

make pathological love to Sylvia Plath,
next to those wretched self-help books
lying face-down across the bed,

like rows of flattened camping tents,
the hapless campers too far gone
and not soon coming back.


©James L. Ralston


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