Six of them, arranged just so,
framing my head like a hand at the nape of my neck,
drawing me closer to kiss my forehead.
Six. Always six.
Six strewn around me, tossed off the side while my hand grips another or holds it over my face so my gasps don’t wake my roommate.
Six of them arranged around us as we sleep through the short summer nights, spooning close, sweating,
or far apart since the air is limited but holding hands anyway.
Six pillows, a long one at my back so I don’t feel exposed,
two under my neck,
two in front of my nose when I lie on my side, alone.
A final one to hold against my chest,
or to act as a surrogate shoulder
for me to rest my head on
and pretend it’s you.

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