• Caitie

Sky at Night


Sky at Night


We finished reading and she rolled over on her side

facing away from me.

Sick from a cold, the usual fight in her was gone.

I almost missed it, then softened, relieved.

No insistence for another chapter,

a soft agreement when I suggested I draw on her back tonight instead of the elaborate (and surprisingly vigorous) relaxation routine she typically clings to so adamantly.


All through the year, she lived in pajamas.

Now, at night, she insists on sleeping in undies only.


Staring at her back,

her skin graham cracker golden,

a few lighter spots from old, over-scratched mosquito bites,

shoulder blades and bumps of her spine protruding,

The fiercest,

tenderest surge of love

swelled up within me.

A foot stomp, a fist shaking at the sky --

A plea to the world to be kind to her...

I will protect her!

How will I always protect her?


Using my first two fingers as a paint brush,

I narrated the scene I drew on her back:

“Here is a spruce tree...”

The inner curve of her scapula, the top edge of the tree’s peak.

I brushed my fingers down her spine, a strong trunk and roots.

On her upper back,

I put the moon,

and a few stars.

I filled it all in

with a blueblack sky.


Then, concerned it would be too dark for her,

that night sky on her back,

I began to add in more stars,

and still more...

It became a thick swath,

the band of the Milky Way

A path of light in the dark night sky.


 


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