Sleeping Apart

sometimes now we sleep
apart in separate rooms

we never did that before

it’s not for lack of love
or stony anger that chills
the sheets, the bed too cold
            for two

it’s because I snore, you say
or keep the light on for one
last chapter while you sniff
and sigh into restless slumber

or that you need more room
to release remnant echoes
            of the day

the truth is, I think, that we
prepare this way for silence

solo, dark-winged flight
            in the light, fire
and madness of dreams

and the somnolent
            seascape of death 

James K. Zimmerman is an award-winning writer and frequent Pushcart Prize nominee. His work appears or is forthcoming in Carolina Quarterly, Chautauqua, Lumina, Nimrod, Pleiades, Rattle, Reed, and elsewhere. He is author of Little Miracles (Passager Books, 2015) and Family Cookout (Comstock, 2016), winner of the Jessie Bryce Niles Award. He can be contacted through his website,