art by Tim Stewart
Tonight With Words Unspoken
by Jeff Samson
I was always the first to fall asleep.
Sometimes she'd have to lay awake with me for hours. Stroking my hair. Rubbing my temples. Reading to me from old books we'd find in stores that smelled of leather and dust. Or singing to me in whispers. Her breath a gentle, sweet current on my ear. Quieting my stubborn head.
"You do all your thinking at night," she'd say, her lips soft against mine. "You're my midnight muser."
"I don't have time to think during the day, baby," I'd say, drawing her closer. "I'm too busy working."
She'd giggle and say I made no sense, and kiss me again. And read and sing until I didn't kiss back.
I was also the first to wake.
In the morning the room would be on fire. Bathed in buttery sunlight. I'd lose myself in the lines of her face. In the rise and fall of her chest. The underwater slowness and grace of her motions, and the catlike noises they evoked. And just as she was there to send me off to sleep, I was there to see her wake.
"You watching me sleep again?" she'd say, playing bashful and drawing the covers over her face.
"I was until you went and ruined it," I'd say, pulling them back down, and over us both.
It was the same way the night we left our world for another. Her sitting on the edge of my capsule, leaning in to me, smoothing the furrows in my brow with her soft hands.
"Try to get all your musing done before we get there, would you?" she said.