On Beds, or Where We Sleep
When we haul our old mattress away, neither of us flinches. It's a relief. Even as it was the bed that was always good enough, comfy enough, his bed before it was ours, him on his way to law school, twenty-two years old, and in need of a place to sleep. We don't say, Our son was conceived here. We don't say, Here is where we learned to be most alone. We don't even think it.Bed: a layer, a stratum; a horizontal course.When the new mattress and frame arrive, are assembled, we stretch to pull crisp linens over the corners; together, we smooth out the comforter, pat down the pillows. We leave for work and take turns coming home. When, months later, we maneuver our son's crib to the curb, drag off his baby mattress to give to friends, we don't talk about how I stare for days, am inconsolable. How any one thing seems to replace another neither of us can quite explain, but it does.