Now Lay in It

We stand in a room:
battalion surrounding a
bed.

Minutemen willing
to fight in all fun
and playful forms.
Until what lies before them
is a mattress,
with sheets pulled down,
waiting to be made.

I am not a thunderstorm
in your bedroom;
The only stains on my pillowcase
come from nights spent crying
myself to sleep.

So I look around me
at the girls,
the boys,
standing stock-still,
looking at the aftermath,
their aftermath.

They pull up the sheets,
smooth out the comforter,
fluff the pillows,
then pause;
some with hands raised,
others with chapped lips.

And I,
I lie.
I run my hands over
the stitches in the quilts,
dig my feet into the foam,
bite the pillows until
there is down on my tongue.

I take the onslaught
of the guilt,
the stupidity,
the pain.
Roll around in it.
Snuggle down in it.

I remember that bone
marrow does not hold you up
based on mistakes,
but rather on strength.

I pull you down onto the bed,
and we lie.
We confess
and we apologize.
We stand trial
while the punishment for our crime
is decided.

And we know
that despite
the consequence,
we no longer
remain knights
fighting a frozen battle.
We rise from the mattress like
rising from ashes,
like rising without the Atlas
of a burden on our back.

We leave a bed with sheets soiled
and slept in.
We rise with absolution.

We stand,
conquerors,
in a room with a
bed.

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