He lies stretched out in the dark and I lay long beside him.
Listen to him breathe… the only sound there is.
This is an epic, everyday love story, one written with years and skin and the rings.
In his sleep, he finds my hand.
It’s the only one I’ve ever known.
Hand in mine, that wraps around a waist, draws in close, slumbering strength always holding on.
I don’t know how another man’s skin feels.
My grandmother lived that kind of courage. The kind that made a vow and had the bravery to let it age.
The wrinkled faithfulness of monogamy, it can look pedestrian, the kind that finishes well, parades up through the Arc de Triomphe, battle scarred, and the tourists just blithely shuffle by, pigeons taking to oblivious wing. She told me about this.
I remember it, nights like these.
How she said that the bravest love is wildly faithful and it falls hard again every morning. How it puts the toilet seat down and the cap on the toothpaste and winks for those already-won eyes. It knows what we seek may be found in what we already have. And there can always be this — the allure of the vows.
I feel his skin, his hand around me in sleep. We sleep like this this night after years of nights, light of the moon stretching long across our room, the pillows, us growing old in this romanced ordinary. It’s grace and fresh gratitude that can make us strong enough to marvel in the seeming monotony of anything. And the happily married have eyes that look long enough to make the familiar new. When he comes up behind me and hugs me at the stove, I still whisper it to him: “I still can’t really believe I get to be married to you.” Grandma washed Grandpa’s underwear for fifty six years, and she said it was always so good.
Warm it falls on the nape of my neck, his sleep breath, close. I press closer. There’s this beautiful drama’s in a long faithfulness and aged love might be heroic. God knows the passion of a covenant.
His stubble rubs my shoulder.
He makes me, shape and rib, and my head’s full of how we’ve known each other and how he still is mystery and how the want is still all his. We sleep in matrimony and it is holy —
us just laying together here in a breath of forever…