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                       The Blessed


I wake up happily beside your back,

Its naked shoulderblades as near as dusk.

They sway ever so lightly as you breathe—

A motion imperceptible if I 

Didn't know so well the rhythms of your body.

You’re sleeping; I can hear the whisk of breath

From out your nose—the quiet rush of warmth

Warming your upper lip (perhaps a bead

Of moisture lingers there)—it sounds just like

The sighing of a distant breeze! So quiet....

To think that sound could be so quiet, and yet

Be heard! Or is it my imagination?

Perhaps I am so rapt that I imagine....

Your hair is knotted on the pillow, tangled

In piles tickling my lips, which kiss

The strands in bunches (since their counterparts

Upon your face—though longing to be kissed—

Are turned away and inaccessible).

Clichéd it is, but....I inhale your hair.

It is a kind of secret, guilty pleasure,

Which I permit myself occasionally.

And then I touch your back, a timid finger

Afraid to mar the skin, which looks as if

It’s made of fairy-tales solidified. 

How can there be such symmetry in life?

—Except....yes, I see an auburn fleck

On one side of your back, right near your neck.

It’s almost hidden by the hair; to touch

It I must move the tousled mass aside

—Though slowly, carefully. You mustn’t wake.

Who knows what dreams are passing underneath

Your darting eyes (for surely they are darting,

Bird-like, as I have seen them do before)?

Oh, how I’d like to see your face right now!

A glimpse only....perhaps of just the dimple

That bunches up the right side of your face

(It’s deeper than the other, prettier).

Or maybe just your lips—or your eyes,

Those sapphires that I sometimes dream about.

But I must lie here restlessly, in rapt

Anticipation of the moment when

You’ll wake. To look into your droopy eyes,

To be the being they see first, as sleep

Still clings to them.... Your sluggish smile will be

The answer to my expectant grin. And then

Together we will sit outside, beneath 

The dogwood tree, and watch the setting sun.

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