Secrets spill like red wine and I wonder how I found someone as honest as I try to be. I reach up and tuck her hair behind her ear, holding her cheek and letting her kiss my hand, wanting nothing more than for her to know I understand, I hear her, I adore her. We press our foreheads together as if we were willing our thoughts into each other’s mind.
Our lips brush against each other with whispers of fear.
“Baby,” she says. The word comes from somewhere deep inside her, like a hallucination that made it to her throat and snuck past her teeth, only loud enough for me to hear even if there was someone standing right next to us. I silently thank G-d there isn’t, just happy to have her to myself.
“Baby,” I say back to her, desperate to be heard but hoping she can’t read my mind, hoping she can’t hear how much I mean it.
I tell her she’s beautiful and she purses her lips together, clenches her jaw and chews away a smile, a slight blush in her cheeks the only hint she heard me, the only clue that she felt the word: beautiful.
We laugh at her absurdity and roll into each other’s arms, her biting my lip and me with a handful of her hair at the base of her neck.
“BABY!” I yell this time, like I’m joking, like I’m not imagining screaming it from the top of an empty roof, like I don’t wish I could yell the word at the concrete streets of New York.
“My baby,” I think to myself. She laughs again and peels back my bottom lip, then strums her perfect nails on my teeth. I watch her eyes as she watches my mouth and smiles to herself, like I’m not even there. I bite her fingers and spit them out, wanting her attention again after not having it for just a moment.
“Baby,” I whisper, and then I kiss her. Our lips touch and the room dissolves. She smiles when I press harder, fighting the way she is pulling my head back by my hair. We laugh to each other and kiss again, this time a bit harder, this time like we’re trying to stamp each other’s mouths with lust. I take my thumb across her eyebrows and then let my index finger fall down the bridge of her nose, a man blind with love memorizing a face he hopes to find in the next world. She digs her nails into my shoulders and I bury my face in her neck, smelling the softness of her skin and tasting the way she’s let her guard down.
“Baby… baby. Baby… baby, baby, baby, baby…”
She rolls on top of me and grabs my face with one hand while she holds my wrist with the other. We growl at each other until we laugh again and I use my free hand to hold her by her waist, letting her know she's stuck here if she wants but she’s also free to go. There’s a pause as we catch each other’s eye and suddenly our smiles are washed away with the seriousness of a look that has a thousand poems behind it.
“Baby,” we say at the same time, both reaching for each other’s faces with the precision of synchronized swimmers. Our lips pass over each and instead we embrace, a hug or a hold more important and more loving and more communicative than a kiss could ever be. She puts her lips on my neck and I bite her ear and with the weight of it all on top of me we both exhale our fears and breath in each other’s comfort.
“Baby,” she says again, this time with satisfaction, this time with confidence, this time like she knows I’m there and she knows I understand her, I hear her, I adore her and she knows, now, she’s my baby.