Sleeping Alone

By Taylor Graham

You sleep in a step-grandson’s bed,
he’s gone to college. This is the darkest,
soundless corner of the house.
You sleep alone, dreaming of your own half-sister,
who lived so far away, you hardly knew
her before her mind left home.
You dream her toothless, gaping wordless
as a fish. In dream, a husband
becomes a father, and a father’s son.
A step-daughter becomes someone else’s
flesh. You never wanted any
of your own.
You sleep alone
snug inside your step-walls. But tonight
beside the pillow, your hand finds something
even softer than family comfort.
A small bat, dead, its fine fur silky.
It doesn’t belong. Outside under stars,
its living kin sail the dark,
warm-bodied as mothers
and their winged children.