The last three weeks Rick and I were together we slept on a waterbed
surrounded by cardboard boxes in a sublet bedroom of a co-op in Pasadena.
He was moving to Chicago; I was not.

In the co-op's livingroom, five people exuded chemical sweat. They were talking
in loud raspy voices when we arrived at 6 am.

The waterbed reeked of swimming pool and sucked all the heat from our bodies
the first night we slept there. It threw us together in a sloppy heap,
then tossed us apart against its hinged wooden frame.

I woke up in a fugue, groggy, unable to move, unsure of where I was. He was beside me,
on his back, breathing quietly. In his sleep, he denied he was leaving.

Outside our window, a duck quacked
and ate snails off the patio
and shat wherever it wanted to.


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