I am waiting up for you, waiting like wood for your heavy, particular stress on the stairs, for the metal that fits your key and the knob that knows the exact turning warmth of your hand. Here you are, still coming home to me, to our bed, to the touch of this life, red dawn breaking from gray clouds in the same window each morning. You’ve been my life, I admit, for as long as I can bear to sit in the middle of this moment, waiting for the smell of your wild black hair, and your eyes, slippery, live brown coffee beans, and your cheeks, cold from the fog over the midnight bridge. There was a time in the car when we fought and screamed, and it poured deafening sheets of rain. There was forgiveness, like sudden, unexpected quiet, after which the rain starts up again, but more gently; like all the stories from my childhood that you learned by heart so I could forget them if I wanted to, so I could rest a moment and feel the future carry us along, swift current under our canoe. The river was no dream. I still remember showing you the place where lady-slippers hid themselves in the northern woods, and how often you crossed the slippery falls to bring me back something I needed. There is that to keep, and the rest to let go. There was the long conversation I thought would end differently. There was the whole dream, unbroken in the water. There is still the water, there is always the water.