When I was little,

I had a brass headboard.


It was very fancy,

with curlicues going

in opposite directions

from the middle.


In the morning,

when I woke up,

I used to put my hands

behind my head

and trace their shapes.


Sometimes slowly,

sometimes quickly,

sometimes each hand

going in opposite directions.


Some of the curlicues

were larger than others,

big spirals

which my hands would trace

very slowly.

They took the longest

to warm,

as I traced


retraced them.


Each curlicue,

large and medium

and small,

also had rough, flat endings,

the smallest part

abruptly changing

from romantic to pragmatic,

dropping off all castles in the air

with a definite “NO.”


When I grew up,

I left my old bed

and its fancy brass headboard

for a double bed.


Now when I wake up,

and put my hands behind me,

all I feel is a white,

roughly painted,