The couch was comfortable and soft, and we sat facing each other, legs
touching. There was a blanket, large enough to keep us both warm.
Though I couldn't say so
wished she would turn and lie against me beneath it. Or maybe this was
before the blanket, when I sat cross-legged and she leaned back against the
arm. The memory is jumbled and cozy
She told me she'd like to see the Pacific, that she never had. I wanted to offer to take her there, to bear
her across the country at speed under the next
summer sun, if only she would tell me more of her wonderful stories along the
How did she spin such tales? What loom had she, to shuttle past and truth
through poetry and weave a wish to kiss her storyteller's mouth, a notion to set music to her words, to her smile,
and to her laughter? A golden ring,
the trace of a scar, places I will never see but which feel like distant
homes; every story fantastic for her having told it, every
word drawing stolen glances to her lips, her ears, her eyes. I studied her
face, her small features so beautifully set, the gentle dance of her
expression, and I tried to hide my wonder.
The night moved surreptitiously, a child who hoped and perhaps believed
that we, the grown-ups, hadn't noticed his sneaking through the room. We
had, of course. Three o'clock. Four-thirty. Six. We knew, but we loved the
night, and we as we watched it we would whisper to each other of its passing
and smile. Then we would turn back from the clock to each other and hunt for
the dropped thread of her thought, that she might continue
her weaving. And so we left the night to tiptoe on, innocent, while we fell.
When the sky began to lighten, she said, we would not be able to ignore it.
I thought, there is more than the passing of time that is making itself
known here. I only thought it, though, and when
the dawn finally came and she went into it, I gave her
only the thought of a kiss before I watched