A window-square of moonlight falls onto a bed, falls onto two people who are not touching. This is either terrible tension or its opposite.

Tonight we are in our easier roles; Alice is not angry and I am not frustrated; it is all right to be separate. Timing or magic has allowed us to leave each other alone without feeling lost or loseable. Tonight we are lucky, and share easy breath. There's no one I'd rather not touch. Alice in moonlight is more than enough.

You're tired, and you lean against me. We get up slowly, and walk down the hall to my room. In the bed, we are lying as usual on the opposite sides, not touching, breathing, and staring at each other until we are driven to sleep.
On any other day, I would love this, I would. We have a routine. But tonight, my side feels empty without you. You are falling faster now, your slate grey eyes closing against the dim moonlight. I stare back at you, wishing you could read my thoughts.
I'm always low-Maintenance, to the point of almost offending you. I don't like to hold hands, I don't like to kiss in public. I'm cool and calm and you're emotional and sensitive. You shouldn't be with me, but inexplicably, you are. No one can understand why we're together. I'm cold and unresponsive, except when we finally do touch. You can't see, but you turn me to quivering jelly inside.
So I watch you go to sleep, waiting and waiting until your breathing is steady, and waiting for your muscles to relax. I watch you for what seems like hours. And at 2 AM, I slide over onto your side and wiggle into your arms, which tighten slightly around me. You were made to sleep with someone. Only now can I sleep.

You asked later to hold me, afraid, I think, that I would say no.
We were sitting on the sofa, watching something I don't remember and you asked.
And I waited and watched. You asked looking out of the corner of your eye and watching the television, sitting as always on the opposite side of the couch.
I didn't say anything.
You are always so careful with me, afraid of saying or doing something too affectionate. I've made you this way, and I'm sorry. You never get to hold my hand, to touch and sigh, and touch again. I can feel that you want to touch, just touch, but I shy away, scoot over, and generally let my body language speak for me. I am not good at feelings.
When we are intimate, I can feel myself holding back, afraid of something I know not the name of. Afraid of showing the pleasure I feel.
And when it's over, I pull away.
I'm afraid of losing you, afraid of the hurt I think you could make me feel. But this is only proof of how much you could hurt me if you wanted to, how desperately I feel for you.
You do not ask again, pull me into you. We do not speak, and I still don't know if you can understand. I need to feel you feeling me, some days. Sometimes, I need this.

Sometimes, I need this,
to just hold you and
to be quiet and close.

Sometimes, I remember
that I am weak and
that I need your strength.

Not that I'll ever
tell you any of this.

I just hope that when I
slip beside you and hold you,
resting my head against you
while not saying a word,
that you'll just let me
stay that way until
I am strong again.

Because sometimes
the weak are only
strong when they
have someone to be
strong for.

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