the bed was a blues lyric,

Patricia Smith

grovel and stank, threaded through with train whistle,
the red shred of yesterday’s pork wedged
in a back molar, it was a brokeheart
delta read, an old negro’s voice
trickling from the nib of an exhausted needle.
the bed was questionable haven for a tangle,
a wall of rain designed to rearrange a bended neck
it was a suitcase a world-hipped woman had to
bounce her hard butt bone on to close,
crammed full as it was with
               can’t take this no more, baby,
stuffed full as it was with
               you ain’t leaving are you
packed full as it was with
               and wonder could a matchbox hold my clothes
the bed was every damned thing a man says
before he screeches gimme my gun, before he considers
the murderous work of his knuckles and mouth. the bed
was last call, a rushed knife of rotgut and the wide-aloud
absence of a jukebox, the bed was a bed that
scraped and rolled, rocketed and spun,
it was a gnaw in the south of an unbridled belly,
the bed was something to growl through a clench
in the smile, its hot dips of serpentine funk
playing havoc with the perimeters of the room,
it was a silver sheet of wet, a rhapsodic progression
of restless verb, the bed was defined by a meal
of tabasco splashed on dubious swine, it was the words
the baby baby baby ain’t no way words that work
on the submerged cadence of a chicago gal. the bed
didn’t ask no questions. it was accidental, it was placed
in the wrong day, it waddled fro and to like a john lee hooker,
underneath a tilted beige Stetson the bed could not be
firmly established, it was a line in a song without a song
around  it. the bed could claim no owner,
no mother, lover or confidant, when it made music
in the clutches of a night it sounded like a left turn
on a flat tire, it sounded
like a pointer finger caught in a crevice, it sounded

like that.
the bed was the bottom of a navy blue bellow, a way
out of no way, the bed didn’t know its own strength,
it was a midnight binge conjured of regret
and the shining soup squeezed from bacon,
it was just that one tearjerked line,
slant rhymed and scraping, the hiccuped i woke up this morning,
i woke up this morning
i woke up this morning

the first lie so many of us tell.