we orbit like planets


I stretch my legs out in bed, reaching my toes to the far end, only to bump against a leg where there once was none. I am suddenly and acutely aware of the space my body occupies. Sharing this bed, I can no longer fling my limbs about and stretch forever north, south, east, and west. My body feels more substantial now that it is relational. Corporeality is on my mind.

When I made my covenant in marriage, I bound myself to CHB. I promised him the shape of my dreams, the engine of my efforts, as well as my dark moments and moments of transcendence. I promised him both the ethereal and earthly parts of me. I also promised him one half of the bed which is really a statement about the significance of our physical bodies: I am here. You are here. We are here together.

 Of the many transitions that marriage has secured, this one caught me by surprise. I am more aware of my body than I have ever been. I walk through my house and step on the toe of a wayward sneaker, run my hands along stacks of vinyl just to hear the crinkle, dip my finger into his contact lens solution. These tangible encounters are all reminders that two breathing bodies live here, not one. I am not a solitary sprite, floating and twirling through the rooms of my home as I did when I lived alone. I am heavier. I am grounded now and profoundly connected.

I share architecture and air and minuscule molecules with him. Our home is a solar system and we orbit like planets, passing each other with unassuming ease. Hello there. Oh, hello.

Until, in those sudden bursts of passion--amorous or anger filled--we are knocked from our orbits and our planets collide.

(If you want to know, I am tiny mercury. I'm 5' 2". He is most definitely Saturn. He is large and his hair extends like many rings.)

 At night, in half sleep, I reach for his hand and wrap my toes around the side of his foot. I feel safe. Oh, to be sharing this body with him. Oh, to be sharing one half of the bed.