No, not that way she'd
say when I was seven, pulling
the bottom sheet smooth,
you've got to, saying
hospital corners

I wet the bed much later
than I should, until
just writing this, I
hadn't thought of
the connection

My mother would never
sleep on sheets someone
else had. I never
saw any stains on hers
though her bedroom was

a maze of powder, hair
pins, black dresses.
Sometimes she brings her
own sheets to my house,
carries toilet seat covers.

Lyn, did anybody sleep
in my,
she always asks.
Her sheets, her hair
smells of smoke. She
says the rooms here
smell funny

We drive at three a.m.
slow into Boston and
strip what looks like
two clean beds as the
sky gets light. I

smooth on the form
fitted flower bottom.
she redoes it.

She thinks of my life
as a bed only she
can make right