Sleeping in the same bed was,
limbs at odd angles
and breathing self conscious.
I’d roll one way,
then the other,
not sure what I was looking for
until I found you
on your back
mouth agape and body warm.
The first few times I didn’t dare touch you
not sure if I was allowed
and not wanting to wake you;
until the sun came up
and the light gradually let itself in
and I hid my face under the duvet,
scared you’d open your eyes and see something in it
that gave the game away,
or that you’d see something that
you’d missed before,
that made you want to get up,
put your socks on
I grew braver each time,
until I let myself roll one way,
and then the other,
with such force that I’d
roll into your outstretched arms,
which were always
Most of the time you’d **** awake,
bleary eyed and mumbling,
while I lay there
breath caught and wondering,
before turning your palms in
and bringing me to rest somewhere between the notches in your rib cage,
arms closed tight around mine.
I’d count the minutes as I felt you go from a sturdy pillow,
all old cotton and chest,
to a soft wave in a calm ocean,
rising and falling rhythmically
and in harmony with the beating of your steady heart
(lovely and loud beneath my right ear).
Despite your woozy ocean waves
and despite your bath water warmth
and despite your arms,
palms no longer up,
wrapped around my rib cage,
I didn’t sleep.
How could I?
Although I could already hear the birds calling,
see the light starting to slip silently across the wall,
I prayed that the sun would never come up
and that you’d never stop me swimming
and that you’d never let go.
The night used to seem like it stretched on forever,
but now it leaves almost as soon as it arrives
the day is never as bright.
My first poem in an incredibly long time