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  • I’m about to let a stranger sleep in my bed.

    And soon, just weeks from now, I’ll be sleeping in a different stranger’s bed.

    All innocent. All facilitated by the internet. These private spaces strategically opened.
    Photos posted. Floors swept. Emails exchanged. Agreements made.

    I think of the things she won’t know happened in this bed.
    Words spoken. Fevers endured. Tears on these pillowcases. Skin on these sheets, weight on this mattress.

    And then there are the things I can’t yet know about where I’m going.
    What the morning sounds are.
    How it will smell when the magnolia just outside blooms.
    What sweat New Orleans provides in spring.

    I have memorized the look of the tree outside my bedroom window at every time of the day and night. So many sunrises it caught in its branches, before I’d had a chance to buy shades! Woken by the light, I witnessed each and every one, for 3 weeks.
  • Now, I wake early and open the shades, this last week of sleeping here.
    I gaze at the tree like it was something temporary, precious.
    Soon it will be a stranger’s tree.
    And I will have a different stranger’s tree for myself.
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Collecting stories is a way to gather your favorite Cowbird stories into shareable collections — kind of like assembling personal anthologies.

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