When they would become intimate and explore each other, he never told her that her calloused hands were rough and repeatedly scraped the more delicate areas of his body. He justified remaining silent as he knew she worked two jobs, as a dishwasher and janitor, and seldom had time to think about using hand lotion, let alone the energy for anything sexual.

She initiated intimacy one late afternoon in December of their first year together. A day when the sky was growing dark at three in the afternoon but remained speckled with hints of the day as if to tease the world about what was or what might be. She knew he wanted it, but it was awkward when his body didn't respond as a young male's body normally would. Yet, in that darkness, something was understood. There was a moment of stillness, then he said, "Let's lay together tonight." The stillness wasn't one of calm or peace but rather an interlude. At that time, they could not understand the nature of the moment that passed between them, that which filled the room and then ceased. It was not due to age; though they were both young, it had nothing to do with the lack of awareness or maturity. Instead, that which moved between them was like words in a foreign language, a dialect of whispers that captivated and consumed him.

Their intimacy became this delicate creation of holding and being held, of laying together in the darkness and bearing that.

Walking home from the bus stop one afternoon in winter, he could not tell if the speckled remanence of the day told of that day very which was passing or the day several years ago before he translated the dialect when the interlude between points and people was filled with curiosity and wonder and not a longing to bear.