Remember the picnic?

That is when you became my goddess, though you didn’t know. You were about the business of being a girl, while I was falling in love with you. And you didn’t know. I watched behind the safety of my sunglasses and fell in love with you. And you didn’t know. Deirdre didn’t know. Nobody knew.

Which is best, don’t you think? That I keep my love secret, even from you? That this filling of my heart and loins should be enough?

When I put Deidre to bed last night, I imagined she asked me if I loved her. I kissed her on the bridge of her nose and pushed the bangs from her forehead. “My beautiful wife,” I told her, “I will always love you.” I imagined her eyes were opened and clear. That the oxygen, the wheelchair, the small refrigerator of medicines weren’t there. That she smiled at me.

And I thank you for that, but you will never know.