the skin of his neck is soft

when I press kisses to it in the dim of the morning. His palms are rough from weights but his feet are soft from a lifetime of socks. His voice on the phone is hard, his words peppered with sighs and grating with lies, but his lips on the back of my shoulder are soft as he listens to his mother worry.

Yes, Ma, I’m at home.

My voice shakes when I’m with him sometimes, choked with words I ache to speak, aching with fear that this is too unfairly good, fearing that I’ll lose him, losing faith that he won’t choke on my weight.

But his eyes are soft when he opens them in the morning, unfocused and staring, and I let myself be.

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