the stains remain

i was grateful to dora that she
gave me that old mattress out of
storage that they used before in
some of those houses they rented out

mattresses have a certain smell, you
know: you spend more time right up
next to them than anywhere else you
ever are, and this one smells funny

but hey, i washed it, and it’s pretty
comfortable and all, and like i was
saying, i’m really grateful to get
anything, given where i’ve been sleeping

the mattresses at the hospital are
‘special’, you know – they don’t want
anything that can be made into something
people can possibly hurt themselves with

have you ever laid down somewhere, and,
when you woke up, weren’t sure where you
were or even how old you were? that happened
to me every night for, like, six months

mattresses and cracks of light under doorways –
pretty much a constant throughout much of
life – only those mattresses smelled like
giving up and surrendering

this one here smells like hope – this is a
whole new life here, and i’m not looking back
on those old days anymore – so thanks to you and
dora and the whole gang for helping me

the smell will go away

but the stains remain

Leave a Reply