I wish I could call you babe. I feel it though, that tenderness than spills over my tongue and falls out at the end of a sentence. We don’t share that kind of intimacy. Clothes off, touching greedily; we confess and consume each other with our bodies only.
I hold it back. I see your square shoulders and your tight jaw and I know not to say too much. I know not to be too soft. You don’t answer to Babe. You don’t answer to anyone. That steely look, the silence, the calm; it’s been trained into you. It’s taken root. You are different now. You can’t be shaken. You don’t flinch. There is a chaos all around you and your steady gaze is the calm center of the storm.
When you left I knew there was a chance you’d never come back. I didn’t consider you’d come back but not be the same. I’m finding ways to love you either way. I’m finding ways to meet you in that quiet distant place you brought home with you.
Is it too quiet in the house? Is the temperature too controlled? Do you remember what it’s like to feel safe? Have you forgotten? Your leg twitches continuously. Nerve damage. You limp. Your scars are like maps without stories. Burned and broken tissues without explanation. It’s not something we talk about. It’s something that was. It was and that’s the past.
Do you know what I love? I love when that hard outer shell breaks like a shiny spoon cracking through the hard creme caramel surface. I like getting a taste of that sweetness in you. It melts in my mouth. I take it as a challenge to tease your calm reserve until I see the small wrinkles bursting out from the tanned corners of your eyes, followed by upturned lips and cherry cheeks. I crave the smile you can’t shake off or hide. It’s the smile you get when you’re cooking with me, walking with me, watching me. That smile. I’m glad that came home with you. At least there’s that.
I am drawn to your self control. I am drawn to that protective way nothing escapes your sight. I am sucked into your silence. Your eyes are deep and water blue and they know far too much about loss. Your eyes captivate me when you look in mine, then glance away. Your eyes. They hypnotize me when you look in mine as you enter me slowly, filling me from hip to heart with private wanting. I take you into me completely and you pour your eyes into mine and I soak you up.
Babe. I soak you up.
Now that you’re home, I’m still waiting. I’m waiting for the rest of you to come back. Come back. When you’re ready. We miss you.