At midnight I move my son to his own bed
and slip into the warm space
he leaves behind. He returns at first
light and displaces me, his face
against his mother’s hair and back,
and sleeps the dream of complete love.
When I was a child being spanked
I would leave that terror
as if lifted from myself,
returning later to the curled-up
weeping boy on the bed.
I approach love with great
anticipation but lose
a sense of where I am
in the machinery of things,
the bodies going up and down
as if gasping for air,
the desire for it to end
rising out of me like steel.