I see you for the first time through a window. I peer in from the street. You talk to strangers while you wait for me.
You see me and smile. Next, a loose hug. We order food. You ask me about pomegranates. You talk about Australia. You pronounce it funny.
We move outdoors. It’s February. We walk. We freeze. We look into bookstore windows. We move indoors to drink wine. I notice that you are wearing very odd shoes.
(You deny their oddness, even now)
We laugh. Late at night we re-enter the cold holding hands. You kiss me. Then again. And again.
We plan to meet soon. The next day you cancel because you say you are sick. I don’t believe you.
I am wrong.
We meet. We talk for hours and eat Sushi. You call me. Then again. And again.
I move yellow dog to the country. You spend your weekends with us.
Yellow dog soon assumes you are a parent.
Sitting next to yellow dog, you give me a ring. I love the ring.
We move yellow dog into a house. Black and white dog joins us.
Pastor Ron marries us on a rock overlooking water. A sunburn the shape of an M occupies your forehead. The photographer places us in ridiculous poses. My dress is soaked by the ocean. We drink Mai Tais.
Smushy-face dog moves in with yellow dog and black-and-white dog. You note that two human hands are not enough for three dogs. My pet adopting privileges are put on hold.
We act like adults. I work a lot. Then you work more. Then we both work too much.
We fall asleep under umbrellas on Mexican beaches about once a year. It helps. A lot.
We act ill-tempered and loving. At times I feel lonely. At times you feel poked and prodded. We fight. Mostly about driving directions and compost. Your tooth flossing drives me to the edge of madness. My loading of the dishwasher sends you into spasms.
No matter. Comfort is near constant. Our home fills with palpable kindness.
I am quieted because of you. You are animated because of me.
We drink wine. It helps. A lot.
We struggle through loss. We absorb searing, shooting pain. Hound dog moves in. We begin to heal.
Years blend. We marvel at snow, scramble up the side of mountains, and play Megabucks. I want to be an artist. You decide you will become an astronaut. We dream. Our bodies change as rapidly as our dislikes and likes. Our edges soften with our waists. We find joy in airline club passes, screened-in porches, and air-conditioned bedrooms. We take great pride in our love of nachos.
And every night, I reach for your hand.
You hold it tightly until we both fall asleep.