Strangers In My Bed

There were two strangers in my bed -
last night, when a pantomime moon
threw light round the room like bunting.

They stretched, rummaging the sheets
with invisible feet, their cold hands
clutching and bunching the pillows.

I watched, but they did not speak.
Even their skin was as dull as dusk,
their faces the colour of pumice.

Their language was adamant, hard -
I took them apart and suggested
they tidy the eiderdown, remove shoes.

This was accepted ungratefully,
as the unwarranted, the deaf assistance
of an owner hoping to muscle in

on their favourite wasteland.
They lay there in cut glass suits,
murmuring useless imprecations.

I watched them, it was mesmeric:
the cool imperative of their separation.
My bed was divided between them.

What whoopee they made was muted:
undercover, their thin arms faltered
as if hinged at the elbow and shoulder.

There are two strangers in my bed:
they have still, clean-shaven chins.
They lie in a paralysis of dream.

From the book Love Poems