to have sex we move the bed over two feet
and slide the mattress onto the floor.
the bed is squeaky and my home is small. it used
to be a mansion but it has been divided so
many times into so many apartments and boxes and
shapes that it is hard to even stretch out anymore.
so we move the mattress onto the floor and tilt the
loud squeaky bed up against the wall so they
can’t hear us and we make a fort out of our pillows
and blankets so it can be just you & me.
& we draw murals on the inside walls of great wide
spaces and the mansion how it used to be so we can
unstack our tetris bodies and stretch out our arms
and splay our legs.
& we imagine ourselves princes and princesses and
we rule our hidden kingdom where no one can tell us
to hush to divide our homes to fold ourselves into smaller
and we sleep in the castle and tell each other and promise
each other that we will never leave. but we
always do. and we put the mattress back on the bed and
go back to our divided compartment home until the next time.
About the Author: Nate Stein is an international human rights attorney in New York City. He speaks Mandarin Chinese and Spanish and has worked extensively in the U.S., Asia, and Latin America on human rights for marginalized groups and refugee issues. He has published poetry, stories, and nonfiction in Wordriot, The Orlando Sentinel, Shanghai Expat Magazine, The NYU Journal of International Law and Politics, and The NYU Law Magazine.