Gently. With curves of her curled
like ferns nestled in wet moss.
A delicate fingertip like baby’s
breath, like a bluebell, like
a forget-me-not dangling
nearby. I memorized her breath.
The cadence, the rhythm. I
memorized her heartbeats, how
many pulses it took for her to turn
over, ask again in that language
of muscle for my warm thigh, my
open palm, my surrender into
the crook of her arm. She likes
the pillows. She likes the upper
hand where she can wake first,
start the coffee, start the morning.
This is the ritual of sharing a day
from start to finish, and I want to
replace her old red toothbrush, know
her schedule tomorrow, hear her mind
winding down before she – miracle! –
falls asleep in my bed yet again.