This poem’s structure was borrowed from Mary Oliver’s poem Gratitude.

Last Night

What did you notice?

The dim light from the nightstand lamp
created a spotlight effect
holding us in a full moon
on the stage of our bed.

The rest of the world became darkness,
shadowed corners
like faceless voyeurs
silently watching.

What did you hear?

My own breath in my chest,
filling my ears like the rushing of water.
The soft things you said,
“I love all of this,”
as you identified all of the parts of me
that I struggle to love myself.

What did you admire?

The strength of your vulnerability,
how you exposed yourself
and yet appeared stronger for doing so.

The valleys and hills and lines
of your face.

The curve of your lip as you spoke.

What astonished you?

My fingers sifting the downy hair
of your chest,
right about your heart,
vibrating.

The feeling of newness.

Hope.

What would you like to see again?

Your eyes,
like deep wells,
begging for my pennies and wishes.

What was most tender?

Kisses
like cool drops of water
on sizzling skin.

What was most wonderful?

My head on your chest,
the scent of you,
complex and disarming,
no matter how familiar.

What did you think was happening?

Night kept the world at bay,
shielding us,
for a moment,
from the weight of the past.

The champagne pink of my skin
against the oak-barrel aged musk of yours.

The muted colors of your tattoos,
swirling like rainbows above your flesh,
rippling in my stuttered vision,
as you pressed into me,
rising and falling,
crashing against me
like an ocean wave…

The startling salt of you
as I submerged,
holding my breath…

The rush of joy
as I exhaled,
lying on the sand
of your secret cove.

You held me there,
and I could feel what some call God…

healing us.

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