The first kiss

You take my hand, warm in yours. Your fingers around mine, entwined. Not one soul, but two, beloved and beloved, held and held, no need for union beyond that union, no need for sameness, perfection, or absolute security, for here we are, now, two as one, together.

I place a cool, wet towel on your fevered forehead. And then gently push back the stray hairs that arch over the cotton loops of the white, terrycloth towel. I push some of the hair behind your ear, and look down closer and into your eyes.

My gaze is steady and warm, and full of love. You smile.

I remind you, gently, with soft words, “Millions of miracles happen every hour every day. You were always gonna be mine.”

Gently I take your other hand and watch your breathing steady, and feel in your fingers, your heart’s pounding begin to slow its pace. Your voice, a little raspy, a little amazed, comes sweetly to my ears, “Here I am.”

A little piece of daybreak, like a crystal shard, escapes a thunderous blue cloud, and puts a dot of light on the wall next to our bed. I see you sigh in relief.

Then, you raise up, still holding onto my hands, and let them go to wrap your arms around my waist. I feel wet kisses on my neck and hear you say, “It was so hard. But I feel so much better now. I do. I do!”

Hot tears erupt into lines down my cheeks, but I don’t care. I say, “Me too, my love.” I hug you tighter and ponder nothing, just enjoying the feel of your night gown as it slides over your skin. Light comes like warm puppies into the bedroom, pouncing on the blankets and sheets, glowing off the white pillow cases. And then a warm breeze, and the smell of summer rain, washes over us, and we suddenly sense in our hearts that we are healed. We are.

Life glows all through you, as you put your face to mine and we kiss.

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