Sleeping Apart

Nacho Rascón /​/​Flickr Sleeping Apart
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Sometimes he decides to sleep

in the spare room

& there is a part of me glad.

He wants the TV on

I don’t. We both snore

& bother each other with it.

He says I steal covers,

I say he moves past middle

if I get up for the bathroom

In summer, there are never

cool sheets when we want them,

only body heat ripping

through the fibers.

But if this sleeping apart ever

becomes permanent, by chance or

by choice, I will mourn my foot

kicked out in the dead cold

of winter, toes so cold

they ache. I will mourn

the pull back under

& the press against his hot shin,

the times I did this, waking him,

the times I didn’t

but knew I could.


Pittsburgh Quarterly is now accepting submissions for its weekly online poetry feature. PQ Poem is seeking poetry from local, national and international poets that highlight a strong voice and good use of imagery, among other criteria. To have your work featured, send up to three previously unpublished poems in Word or PDF format as well as a brief bio to

Simultaneous submissions are accepted, but if work is accepted elsewhere, please alert us.


Jennifer Jackson Berry

Jennifer Jackson Berry’s first full length collection of poetry “The Feeder” is forthcoming from YesYes Books in late 2016. Her poems have appeared most recently in journals such as The Paterson Literary Review, Red Paint Hill Poetry Journal, Toad, and Whiskey Island, as well as the anthology Political Punch: The Poetics of Identity (Sundress Publications, 2016). She is the Editor of Pittsburgh Poetry Review and an Assistant Editor for WomenArts Quarterly Journal. She lives in the Braddock Hills neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and is a proud member of the Madwomen in the Attic writing workshops.

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