If we had the rest of our lives together, where would you take me? Would you clasp my hand for take off and still give me the heart of things? An artichoke, the best pour of wine, the middle of the sandwich, the perfect bite. Would you let me complain about the mosquitoes and hills? Would you still pull me close when I complained of the sweat? Would you take me to a lake at night and undress me, lead me to the water with you hand, without talking, naked in the water against you. Lake warmth and us. Would you hold me as if there were no mourning? If we had the rest of our lives together, what song would you hear that reminded you of me? Would you make a list of them and email it to me? Would you love me more when it was overcast? How long would it take for you to begin to like the things I like just because I do? If we had forever, would you hold on that long, or would you turn the station and down a new road looking for brighter leaves and new paths?
Every day I’d learn to love something because you did, and I’d collect your songs; I’d sing them to Linus in bed, when we missed you. Then I’d cry because I loved you so much, your hands, in our sleep, with the smell of your head, with the rise and fall of your sleeping body. After a while, would I let go, begin to raise my voice, let work become my priority? Would the things I thought I liked roll my eyes? Would I stop being an us, and instead be me, beside you, like siblings? You’re right, that’s what scares me most. Once the sex is gone, and backs become land for scratches instead of shifting planes when we move, I’d cry. Worse, I wouldn’t cry. I’d be numb and live for my children instead of you. That scares me, becoming siblings with an equal who used to want. It scares me more than alone ever will.
–Stephanie Klein, circa 2005