734: A Man in My Bed Like Cracker Crumbs

734: A Man in My Bed Like Cracker Crumbs

734: A Man in My Bed Like Cracker Crumbs


I’m Nate Marshall and this is The Slowdown.

I admit that I love solitude. I suspect that this tendency towards aloneness is one that was cultivated in me as a child, because I was bookish and because I was the only boy in the house which meant that past a certain age, I was given more space and thus…more solitude. This is not to say that I don’t love people, I certainly do. But as much as I can enjoy a night out dancing or a raucous tailgate before a football game or a great dinner party with abundant conversation and libation, there is just something about being in my own space with my own thoughts and being able to place things just so.

It is perhaps a good thing that I find solace in solo moments, since it is so often what is required to make writing happen. I do love being invited to social functions and sometimes I deeply enjoy being at the function but there is a deliciousness in declining with regrets just to brew my own tea and have my own time.

I think one of the richest forms of aloneness is just after a beloved takes their exit, particularly on good terms. In those moments, you can feel safe in the knowledge that you are not alone in the world, simply alone in this moment — and what a precious freedom that can be.

Today’s poem is about that delight in solitude, especially when it might have come after a lover overstaying their welcome a bit.

A Man in My Bed Like Cracker Crumbs
by Sandra Cisneros

I’ve stripped the bed. 
Shaken the sheets and slumped
those fat pillows like tired tongues
out the window for air and sun
to get to. I’ve let

the mattress lounge in
its blue-striped dressing gown.
I’ve punched and fluffed.
All morning. I’ve billowed and snapped.
Said my prayers to la Virgen de la Soledad
and now I can sit down
to my typewriter and cup
because she’s answered me.

Coffee’s good.
Dust motes somersault and spin.
House clean.
I’m alone again.

"A Man in My Bed Like Cracker Crumbs" by Sandra Cisneros from LOOSE WOMAN copyright © 1995 Sandra Cisneros. Used by permission of Susan Bergholz Literary Services.