We picked my mother’s bed
because it was big enough
to be its own island, a quiet
place, and in that room
there were no windows to see
our nakedness, nothing but
the door, still hanging limp
on its hinges, a loud creak
just so we’d listen.

My teeth were still misaligned
my mouth thick with surgical padding,
from the first of three molars
that lost their way to the jaw
somewhere in the bowling-ball slick
of palate and sinew and bone.
We did not kiss, I was too sick
with anesthesia and stitches.

But I am not ashamed of sitting
with her naked in my mother’s bed.
The sun made its own picket fence,
shining through the sheets, and
I believed in it too much to worry.