Once he lies down, he says, he is afraid
There is no getting back up. Maybe
It will be that nothing ever
Is the same; you put the body down
On the adjustable bed in the room where
Those before you also came and climbed into
Clean sheets, one blanket, one pillow, and a noise
Turning into trees whispering overhead.
People dressed in the exact clothing of each other
Walk in and never look at us. He is still afraid,
And so I lie down first, which is to say nothing
Except I am not him, concentrating on the manufactured
Tiles above us, which came from somewhere far
And were brought by truck or rail to this city
Where in time they were laid one by the other
To make a ceiling, sky below which we lie
Looking for stars, as the needle enters the vein,
And we search for any possible constellation, something
Familiar to name.
For Slate's poetry submission guidelines, click spacerhereyeshyperlinkPoetry SubmissionsSlate reads new poems from Oct. 1 to April 30. Manuscripts sent between May 1 and Sept. 30 will not be considered.To submit poems: Send, as a single attached document, up to three poems of no more than 50 lines each to email@example.com. Use the poet's name for the subject line of the e-mail and for the title of the attachment. We prefer Word documents (.doc or .docx) to PDFs.Please include a brief, professional cover letter, including publication history, in the body of your email. Please limit submissions to one per poet per annual reading period. Simultaneous submissions are OK. Slate no longer accepts poetry submissions by mail. The email address firstname.lastname@example.org is for poetry submissions only (or to notify editors of acceptance elsewhere of a poem under consideration at Slate). Other inquiries, etc., will not be addressed.10000false220061444537PMWednesdayJanJanuary161/4/2006 9:45:37 PM63271989937000000020061444537PMWednesdayJanJanuary161/4/2006 9:45:37 PM632719899370000000.Clickhere to visit Robert Pinsky's Favorite Poem Project site.Click here for an archive of discussions about poems with Robert Pinsky in "the Fray," Slate's reader forum.