Published on Academy of American Poets (

Multiple Man: Guest-starring me & you

Every night I sleep on alternate

sides of the bed, as if to duplicate
sleeping with you. If

I'm fast enough, I'm the warmth
of my own body beside me, reach

out and touch myself. Breach
the blue of my bones, breathe in my own ear.

You left me. Lying here,
I left you to be with me.

Someone asks if your body
was worth trading for mine.

My sin was always pride.
Did you want a man that sleeps

with himself to keep
the bed warm? I need you like the earth

needed the flood after dearth


Copyright © 2014 by Gary Jackson. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-A-Day on March 27, 2014. Browse the Poem-A-Day archive.

About this Poem

"That first night you're back to sleeping alone again, expecting another body beside you, and the physical absence is so jarring that you think what if I could become the body I miss? Multiple Man could do it, but I can't. And of course he's a mutant superhero, because I can't help myself."
—Gary Jackson


Gary Jackson

Gary Jackson is the author of Missing You, Metropolis (Graywolf Press, 2010), which was selected by Yusef Komunyakaa as winner of the 2009 Cave Canem Poetry Prize.

Date Published: 2014-03-27

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