Early Morning

He wakes early on Wednesdays, the one weekday he can sleep longer. He crawls into my bed and sea stars his body around mine. He tells me he loves me more than I love him. I remind him love is not a competition.

His breathing suddenly heavier, I feel the weight of his body relaxing into sleep. I stare at his too-long hair, his still curved but ever thinner cheeks, his fair features, his open mouth. His breath is slightly sweet, slightly morning stink. I try to imagine how he will evolve and how this boy of mine will grow into his future skin.

The shower calls, the coffee calls, the day calls; I stay still, frozen, and savor his touch. He snorts, fidgets, flips his body to face away from me. I linger a moment longer before gingerly slipping out from under the covers, leaving while he lies undisturbed an art form learned nearly nine years ago and necessary less frequently these days. These precious days.