Early on my birthday when she peeked in to say good morning, I invited her under the covers, where we talked and laughed, not knowing that late that night we would make love for the first time, thinking it would be the friendly fulfillment of a half-baked birthday promise, not realizing what was beginning,
had already begun, how we were unfurling the ribbons, tearing open the handmade paper of a gift that found us within hours of our coming together, over coffee under a copper star.
For days, weeks afterward, I waited for the complicated instructions that would surely follow, calling for tools I didn’t care to own and know-how I’d never acquired, wondering if this delivery would simply take its place among other possessions, however treasured.
But the work never came, and instead I kept peering in and finding myself complete and whole in her eyes and my own, no assembly required, discovering new angles and old facets, smooth curves and deep hollows, edges and bones, the archaeology of a country, a cave, a meadow,
a beauty I was born knowing and had spent lifetimes circling before it slipped into the right hands right on time, claiming its home in the space between hearts pressed together, the call and response of pulses rising and resting, cresting under tides pulling us to the wide edges of beyond where fear and withholding, victims and villains, pity and projection, doubt and idealization–
all of these came to seem like foreign objects in a sky whose ancient darkness offered the comfort of so much emptiness, stars spaced perfectly for sleep against the softest skin, and the freedom of being loved. Just for being.