Bring me your lips, I say each night. And he does. He brings them softly to my forehead, lingering for a second to breathe me in. Don’t sleep at me, I tell him. He sighs, but I can hear the smile behind it.
He cuts the fat from chicken breasts because he knows how the slime gets to me. He fills the watering can and leaves it by my plants so I don’t have to venture to the side of the house where snakes lie in wait. He puts my bowl in the freezer and scoops mine last because I like it more icy than creamy.
It doesn’t matter whether it’s a stubbed toe or headache or just all around crampy funk, he gets me. Sit this one out, he’ll say.
A whole hour before my alarm he’s already gone for a run and come home. He’ll emerge from the shower and let me fold in, sleepy-eyed and fogged. And then he helps make the bed.
You’re beautiful, he says, when I feel my worst. He’s not just saying it. He thinks it’s so; I know it by heart.
I see clumsy and inpatient and so very far to go. He sees already there and back again.