You must think I have forgotten that morning when I undid my shirt buttons one by one, pressing myself closer to you until the heat of my body woke you from your sleep. Wherever you are in the distance of my past and the vastness of your imagination, you must think I was either asleep too or else I have long forgotten.

But I still feel your hands, calloused from years of work in the field - you took pride in never wearing gloves - and how they cupped my breasts fleetingly, hesitantly, just that once. I have never been closer to you.

I hid behind the obvious, my pride, your fears, the distance you put between us by going. I told you I loved you. But I never knew if you heard.

I miss you now with a cold fire that burns as painful and as bright as the touch of your skin against mine in that one fleeting moment of that faraway dawn hour. The soft down of you hair, baby smelling baby hair on a rugged powerful man, a shy smile that always surprised me from under the sharp nose and the hooded eyes. The rasping tenderness of your voice and your long loving letters that made me hope as you yourself would never let me hope.

And what you said to me, what you told me once so long ago that no one but me remembers - "you are like a beautiful house full of wonderful treasure. Every man who walks through the rooms carries off a piece of treasure with him, but even if the house is emptied the treasure will not have been lost, for the real magic is in the walls."