we wipe the dust from unplanned photographs
half smiles and that one warm look, those gentle hands-
take everything you own and touch it to your face, wrap yourself
around something solid, a sleeping body.
feel the imprint her head has made in your collar bone
and the gravity of it, forever.
strands of my hair from the kitchen floor, i have taken this new vulnerability and
become better for it,
insecurities melted into chain mesh.
i have grown scales,
she touches the ridges
like braille and it whispers "darling, don't fret,
i have survived stronger hurricanes
there are many things i am cautious of;
the consistency of the earth's core
(cotton candy, crumpled newspapers, clock radios)
or being found at the bottom of the Indian Ocean, she mops the hardwood
with salt water.
we have pushed the monsters back into our (organized) closet,
i love you cleaner than i ever