I listen for you in the night,
your breathing sets
the rhythm of my dreams.
It was not always like this.
Much as the cat craves
a gentle stroking of her back,
I long to trace your spine,
measure each vertebra
by the length of my caress,
but I don’t want
to pull you fitfully from sleep.
I kiss the air
hoping it will somehow
pierce your dreams.
The cat, curled against
the rounded back
of the red chair
understands all of this,
purrs contentedly, and then
returns to sleep.