Bathsheba, Cold at Night

by Casualene Meyer

When I asked you why David
couldn't warm himself
with a woman already his concubine or wife,
why they appointed Abishag,
a virgin water bottle,
to comfort the doddering king,
you said perhaps the concubines and wives
lost their heat, too.

This makes me think of Bathsheba,
the once desirable, in bed
alone in the limestone chill
of Jerusalem nights,
fearing to feel Solomon's forehead cold
should Adonijah, or another of his many half-brothers
usurp his rightful throne.
Perhaps she feared another beloved cold,
for at last no man could replace
the heat of Uriah's chest,
nor David's thighs, nor the warmth
of her firstborn of David and dead.