The shower has gurgled.
Coffee machine hissed.
His deodorant winds its way back to the bedroom, telling me that it’s almost time to go.
Between the heavy steps of work boots and the house settling that one door hinge like cracking a joint, the 5-o’clock sun tickles my eyelids through the blinds.
Water bottles filled, armor donned and fastened, he walks back to put his arms around the naked chick he leaves in his bed.
Some days a princess, bruisable sensitivity, genuine because unaware that it requires special treatment. Others, a water nymph leaning against the rain-soaked porch post, blowing a kiss that follows the F350 through the downpour until it disappears round the corner of North Point Road.
Later, I will cheekily tilt my scholarly hat and study Polynesian tattoos and taboos. I will build a barge for words to traverse between languages, and hold their hands as they cross. Eyes fixed onto the computer screen, Sharpie in teeth, hair up in a bun, stomach growling shushed for concentration. Off you go, my lovelies.
But for this moment and maybe only for today, I am just his queen.
I have seen pictures from his youth, but I swear to God, he has never looked hotter.
He rocks the rockstar skinny in his Carhartt pants. His forearms ought to be displayed in art and medical schools. His features never been more defined. He has never been more himself.
His truck is filled with hardhats and safety glasses; his workplace with broken concrete, Bobcats and reckless crews. He steers hundred-tonne cranes and calls in carbon monoxide alarms. He blows up buildings and egos, mystic of delicate destruction.
His eyes have never been heavier with human suffering, yet I have never seen them more beautiful.
His reflective vest presses against my skin, cool as the sunrise.
Broken hands trace a sleepy spine that arches underneath their touch.
Sheets fan from hips like a wedding gown.
We share a kiss before the madness begins. I nip his neck and rub my cheek against his. As soon as he is out the door, it’s combat mode. No tenderness for the next twelve hours, no softness or ease, only testosterone, chaos and danger. He revels in it, I know, but I make him promise to be safe nonetheless.
Like feathers falling to the ground, swinging softly before they settle, we are sinking into one another.
The scholar and the demolition specialist on this even ender edge of the world.