Opening my eyes to exit the stage of an instantly forgotten dream,
I find myself at the edge of the bed
with you spooned so close that the cat,
leaping onto the bed, at the first hint of us stirring,
discovers his favorite spot between us
is missing.

He looks from me to you,
and chooses you,
tiptoeing over your chest to your face.
You count his head-butts with such exuberance
that this, I think, I love most about you.
That you love the cat.

And although it is indisputable my turn,
you brave the chill that awaits you outside our nest of quilts and cat.
I cannot hear it, although I know it is there for the hearing –
the groan of the coffee grinder,
the hiss of the kettle,
the clank of cups and plates,
the slow gurgle of boiling water poured over the grinds.

I smell your careful approach,
the aroma of toasted bread and coffee with cream,
and reward you with a sleepy-eyed grin as you sidle the narrow space beside the bed,
to place my favorite mug on the bed stand,
and hand me a cobalt blue plate with two slices of toast
slathered with too much strawberry jam and a barely ripe banana
that we will share.

Ah, I have dreamed of this!
to awaken beside you to this ritual of breakfast in bed
in these days when no alarm startles us to prepare for work,
in this comfy bed with fluffy pillows, and curtains that match the comforter,
in a room adorned with our favorite pictures,
with a door we don’t have to keep shut,

We plan our day, knowing we can always change it midway,
to decide not to go,
to go somewhere else,
or just stay home,
to work in the garden,
or sit at our computers
not talking for hours…

The world always finds a way to creep in,
Facebook posts about democracy slipping away,
Tweets of horrendous injustice,
Breaking news alerts of catastrophes,
A call from a friend who needs a hand or a shoulder,
reminding me how many others are facing these times
alone.

I get to cook for two,
feel adored in old clothes,
disrobe this scarred body without shame.

I get to rejoice in your quirks,
and the way you enjoy head-butts from the cat.