10 Year-Old Futon

by Sarah Gehring

I’ve slept on this futon enough
times to know
you prefer to put it in rooms with high ceilings and big windows, though
you have not always been able to. I saw

this futon making eyeballs at your ex-girlfriend’s apartment though
it never did move in.

I lived on this futon for a summer while you
worked, doing research abroad and I
couldn’t sleep in the bed I’d sublet from you 
because you had no air conditioning and the room
with the high ceilings was cooler and I
was too drunk to find the bed anyway 
and it was the hottest summer on record.

I saw it in the first place you lived with your fiance. Where she had brought 
the good furniture, the futon
resigned to a guest room compact.

Today I drove in and you were living somewhere
new and I saw this futon commanding
a tall white room

almost alone here

as I lay, the streetlights coming in through
the big windows
broke my thoughts open.

You, my friend, have seen my alley-dwelling hours.
I have never seen you in pain.
You have never slept on my couch,

we will never say goodbyes, but one day
you will be gone and I won’t understand.

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