The second time around

You carry yourself a bit more cautious now, hands hesitating before they hold, flinching timid before they grip. You tell him this, mention the way moonlight feels a bit heavier on your bed sheets now, the way your tongue creaks when it opens.

He watches you tiptoe out of bed in the mornings, offers to do the breakfast dishes when you’re late for work and does them even when you say no. Find the coffee cups in the right cupboard that evening, and for the first time in months you begin to breathe easy.

Laugh as he finds new ways to pronounce your name, adds a lilt to the parts of you that only ever seemed to drag. Sit down in the passenger seat of a five-year-old Honda Civic and know you are not the first he has spoken railroads into, but let him do it anyway.

Wake up in the middle of the night with his sleeping ankles curled under yours and wonder if the second time around will be the last.

Late afternoon on the field, cross your fingers hoping that it is, whisper this to the grass, scatter your faith like dandelion seeds and talk yourself into the magic of breathing again, of growing second chances like redwood trees, of relighting the sun in the mornings and finding your reflection still waiting in his eyes, his eyes, his eyes.

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