Lovers in the New Dawn

Fridays are my favorite, I think. 

There are no alarms sounding off courtesy of far-too-expensive iPhones. No official obligations until maybe 11 this morning at the earliest. I smile tiredly in my sleep, tucked deep into an old afghan that smells like memories that have yet to be formed. I can feel the cat purring and breathing warmth onto my hip; his favorite spot to snuggle up when I sleep on my side. An arm that feels like stone wrapped in smooth velvet grips gently around my waist from behind, keeping me from leaving my spot in bed too quickly. I hadn’t even realized I was starting to sit up. My smile widens.

“Hungry? I don’t have to be in class until later,” I murmur. 

The arm curls even tighter around me and a thumb grazes my hip. A great, almighty huff is all I get in response. I don’t need to hear his words to know when he says silently: Talkin’ too much. Too early. A peck of lips on the back of my neck sends a live wire down my spine. 

I’ll take that as a no. That’s more than okay. I flip over onto my other side to affirm as such. 

“Muchas gracias, todos. ¡Besos a tu mamá, Lucia!”

With that word, I end the Zoom call with my students after a solid 45 minute session and I let out a satisfied huff, pleasantly buzzing with energy. 

I close my laptop and set it on the small table next to the hammock I’m lying in. The sheer fabric enclosing the lanai is blown about by a soft breeze, and I slip on my glasses and trot over to our prized and most favorite mango tree. She’s tall, and has been here longer than most of the people. A massive sloth nods a slow hello as I grab a ripe piece of fruit and start prying it open with my fingernails. I wonder if it’s the same sloth I’ve been seeing over the past couple of years. We regard each other for a moment before I tear a few leaves off of one of the nearby tree branches and lay them out for my old friend. 

“Mari! We’re back, with presents!”

That familiar, jolly baritone version of my nickname is directed my way and causes me to turn, and I see him trotting down the driveway with three of the new adult goats led in tow. I can smell him and the goats from where I stand, and I am still obsessed in spite of it. He winks, and I watch our little ones trot along behind him, twin heads full of messy, dark curls bouncing away. I smile even wider at the chorus of “Papa!” that rings through the trees when they run towards my embrace. 

— 

The sea is never more beautiful than at night. 

It’s made even more perfect when one is able to stretch the moment into infinity. 

The fire pit crackles with renewed life. The moon is full, and oh, how her reflection dances so splendidly upon the bosom of mother. 

My special one wraps us both in a blanket given to us by one of the local farmers that already smells like the campfire. His beard is scratchy. I lean into it and sigh and 

don’t say a word. . 

The kids are running around the fire singing a song about a parrot named Gabriél from one of the local cartoons. They are up far too late. I grip his hand tighter and feel his rumbled sigh in return.

I close my eyes, and let the tears fall. And I wander. 

I look back a few years in time. Back when I saw this very moment, and wished for it with all my might. And when I was finally brave enough to let myself have it. 

And I speak on my past self’s behalf, for God and all of Its glory to hear.

“Thank you. For everything.”

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