You probably do not realize that I still think about your hands. After spending years reaching for them, holding them, feeling them grow rough and then soft once more, there are still new ways for me to be amazed by your palms and the fists that they fold into. Sometimes when I hand you your mug in the mornings, my fingers overlap yours for a moment and their skin surprises me. Sometimes when you fall asleep before me, your arms roam the mattress and your knuckles brush my cheek or my shoulder, and the bones feel new again. Sometimes, in your absence, when I find a note on the kitchen table, smudged by your southpawed script, I can picture exactly where the ink would have stained your pinky and the shape your hand would have made holding the pen. And it shocks me that I can know a part of you so exactly without losing the novelty offered by unfamiliarity.
I did not care if someone found me strung around your neck like Christmas lights left hanging on the porch railing. I wanted to be too desperate to stand on my own so that I would have a weakness to blame — a crutch to show people when they asked how I could have known about your missing rib if another lover had already claimed my bones. I wanted to manage a neat unfaithfulness that nobody would discover. I called it a secret seal when you inked and pressed your smallest finger into the cleft at the base of my neck. But it was not lust that we were keeping hidden because I tried and failed to summon it within me. We stood in the spaces between strangers’ houses in the city and you whispered that love could be so much warmer than I had known, that I was not heavy when I leaned on you, and that you would be waiting in a parked car outside whichever house I pointed out in case I ever wanted to leave the man who made me feel like a burden whenever I took his arm. And even though you said all of the right words, I always returned to my shared bed in the morning, never having touched you in the way that would have broken his heart like he had done mine many times before.