Sheets - Bo Breda

We are born on them
make love on them
sometimes we lie there crying and let the tears roll down the sides of our faces
into our ears
and then become absorbed by the soft cotton
We sweat on them in the hot summer nights
or when we're fevered
or lustful
Sometimes we're so tired we don't take our shoes off
dropping onto the bed, leaving the dirt from the street like cookie crumbs
We die on them
if we're lucky we die on our own sheets at home
otherwise on those coarse muslin hospital shrouds
If we get sick    or old
or if we're very small and not wearing diapers
we get rubber sheets
When it's cold outside flannel sheets are warm and comforting
better than the smooth ones cold as steel when first we get into bed
We dream on them
sometimes we wake and remember screaming
My cat had a litter on the bed
her blood soaked through a comforter, quilt, and two sheets into the mattress
a stain reminds me of lives begun
What occurs on sheets leaves a stain
we attempt to wash them away
bleach them, use spot removers and obscure household chemicals to obliterate
them
But some stay, traces of our passion
Some of what we leave in our beds
shit
urine
tears
spittle
mucous
sweat
semen
spermicide
blood
tea
wine
chocolate
perfume
sand