I haven’t washed the flannel sheets since you’d
so early that morning. The crispness of
then was an insistent reminder of the need I had for
yours enveloping my slender fingers in the taxi,
as we watched the downtown struggle to
while we awaited our train to arrive and take
south to the airport where we wouldn’t be a we
a you and I separating further and further
until you were thousands of feet up in the air.
tell myself each day today is the day
I will peel the last of your flanneled presence
my sturdy bed and put into the washer
the alchemy of detergent and water will
the fragrance of you still lingering in my memory.
are an absence breathing, a god waiting to be
back into flesh right here on this bed.
Raymond Luczak is the author and editor of 18 books. Titles include The Kiss of Walt Whitman Still on My Lips, QDA: A Queer Disability Anthology, and Mute. His debut novel Men with Their Hands won first place in the Project: QueerLit Contest 2006. His work has been nominated three times for the Pushcart Prize. He is the editor of Jonathan: A Queer Fiction Journal. Luczak lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and online at raymondluczak.com.