You come to me at a bad moment (because
they are all bad moments, really, or so instinct
tells me). You lean across the table, place one hand
on each side of my face, my arms folding laundry.
It always begins like this. There is the moment,
and there is me considering the moment. I consider
your hands. Warm. I consider the morning sunlight
slanting across the room. Hazy and bright. I consider
the laundry. Wrinkled. I consider the papers waiting
on my desk, the tasks I’ve listed on the 24 lines
for each day in my pocket planner, the inevitable
pick up of children at 3:15, dinner, clean up,
phone calls. Most days, I look you in the eye,
kiss your lips, then swish you away. Today,
I tell my instinct to go to hell. I tell it
what my 6-year-old daughter once yelled, “You
are not the boss of me.” I close my eyes,
tell myself, “These are his hands.” I hold them.
I circle the table, press my cheek to his neck,
tell myself, “This is his blood, pulsing
through his body.” I adjust the length of me
along the length of him, rib cage to rib cage,
hip to hip, tell myself, “This is his breath
moving into his lungs. This is his breath
leaving his body, breath damp and circling
in rhythm with mine.” I stretch my arm
around his middle, tell myself, “This
is his belly. It is benevolent.” I hear,
“Take this. It is my body, and it is good.”