When you lay in bed
next to that other part of you
though there is no need for words or thoughts or actions
you are making a promise
Not the foolish kind you made as a child,
but a real promise,
the sort you have been practicing to make
your whole life long.
Sometimes my wife and I will lay like that,
our fingers barely touching,
or her knee against my thigh,
or the heel of her foot pressed against the sole of mine.
Any more would be too much,
any more would break the spell.
It is that tiny, tiny touch, the barest sensation of contact
that is the promise to each other
“Who else could I lie with in this way,”
is what you are saying.
“Who else’s hand or knee or heel could feel
like it belongs to someone else and yet be mine?”