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Writing Vows on my Couch.

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We won’t be perfect. We won’t like each other sometimes.
For months even, as we take turns, unevenly, cleaning up
after the kids.
We’ll forget, for possibly years, how we loved the
laughter in each other’s eyes, and the soft graze of your fingertips on the
back of my hand.
We’ll forget the nestling and nuzzling, and how that made us feel safe against unknowns and inner demons. How we felt known to each other, seen by each other in a way that had made us actually whisper we’d “never felt this way before.” 
We’ll forget what that inside joke was, and only remember
the shadow of it that time we’ll pass a fire hydrant painted green. We’ll be too tired to say anything about it. 
We won’t be happy. Not always. We’ll trudge sometimes and
just fall into bed, with maybe a peck, and maybe just rolling over.
I’ll remember that time I lay on my couch in my studio
apartment knowing that this decadent solitude wouldn’t last, that I would share my
space with someone eventually.
I’ll know it’ll be worth it. The irritations. I won’t
clean my dishes, it’s true. But I’ll make the bed. And you’ll tell that story about the thunderstorm at basecamp until I harden against hearing it anymore.
I’ll know when I forget the moment of falling that it was
meant to happen. And there will be small pocket-, breath-sized moments
when I won’t remember, but I’ll be introduced to it again, new.
We’ll change. Our bodies will age. I will want to have sex
more than you. I’ll notice how the skin on your face begins to sag forward when you’re on top of me. And there will be no helping my breasts.
We’ll each look with lust at other people, because we’re married, not dead.
And I will be jealous, but I will be human, too.
The way you don’t discipline the kids will bother me, and sometimes
we’ll talk about it. The way I am more strict with her than I am with him will
bother you.
We won’t be perfect. We’ll forget how falling in love feels
like a satellite burning a reentry through the atmosphere. We’ll forget the
tentative and amazed way our faces looked when we first came in each other’s
arms.
We won’t have aloneness. We won’t have privacy. We won’t
have independence.
We will evolve into creatures we ourselves don’t know, and
so can’t understand in the other.
But we will, we will,
stay the course. Unless it’s truly burning down, we will hold tight during the
less-so times, we will try to remember the intimacy of small moments: to hold a
door, to whisper a thanks, to hug and be still with one another.
We will try to be in love for 3 seconds each day.
Because it will have saved us both. 

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