It's National Poetry Writing Month again, and this year I am writing my own pillow book, after Sei Shonagon.
1. I miss my pillow
xxxxxI miss my pillow, the long pillow held between my legs and hugged to my chest from the time I was born to when I turned thirty-three.
xxxxxI have the impression that it was the same pillow although this could not be true. Perhaps it stayed the same because the slip would change. A fresh pillowslip smelled not unpleasantly of washing powder. After drying in the sun for hours, on a bamboo pole, it was hot to my thighs. I also liked the sensation of it cooling and, later at night, the sensation of warming it with the cleft of my body.
xxxxxThere was a dark brown pillowslip with small white squares. Another pillowslip was blue with white balloons. My favorite had the pattern of palm leaves.
xxxxxDarren laughed at the pillow when he visited me in Singapore and slept in the same room. We must get you a woman, he said. Darren had light blond hair and strong shoulders. At the beach he pulled on a green swimming trunk, the same lime cover that Matt Damon flashed in The Talented Mr. Ripley. The color picked him out in the crowd. I mean Damon but I could have been talking about Darren.
xxxxxIn the year I turned thirty-three, I moved to New York City, to find out if I was gay and a writer. For the first time in my life I bought my own mattress and bed linen. I learned about sizes: full, queen, king. Mine is twin. I have two pillows for the head but none for the body. I could not find one but I admit I did not look very hard. I gave up the long pillow to get something better.