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Woebegone I spent the morning browsing mattresses

by Claire Donato

Woebegone I spent the morning browsing mattresses

so I didn’t write you this

nor did I order one.

So too did you not order one

because you don’t know of mattresses

although you sleep on top of one (and sometimes under one—

and under the bed frame the mattress rests on

where I can’t find you.)

Woebegone, where are you?

Come out and rest upon my lap

as I navigate the specifics

of memory foam, pressure relief

and the volatile organic compounds

that get two stars of five

for sex. Couples don’t have to worry

about a squeaky mattress

when it contours minimally.

Models that contain memory

foam often hold the impression

of an HBO marathon.

When you came out this evening

and stood in the sink, I observed you

sobbed, then refilled my waterbed.

Poet and multidisciplinary artist Claire Donato’s chapbook Woebegone is forthcoming in 2023 from Theaphora Editions. She is also the author of Burial, a novella, and The Second Body, a collection of poems, and is at work on two new books. Currently, she is the Assistant Chairperson of Writing at Pratt Institute, where she received the 2020-21 Distinguished Teacher Award. Claire lives in Brooklyn with her cat, Woebegone. Find more of her at


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