Mattress Spun of Sawgrass

Sometimes I sleep upon a bed of iron,
Cruel mattress spun of twine and sawgrass,
Cuts bleeding in my dreams
Stain the night, yet release
Some memory from yesterday’s summer—
Years ago when I held you in my arms
As I shaved off my beard.

You were only two, your hands
So tender as they touched my face.
I watched you in the bathroom mirror.
Now I have no need to hide
Behind a mask of camouflaging hair.
Breathing more freely in clarity of golden air.

You glanced at me and winced—
Ran away so urgently and never stopped.
You do not want to forget
Who I never was, not knowing
I remember the terror on your face
When you first saw my naked skin,
Vulnerable as I looked into your eyes,
My face shining in morning light.

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