Stepping out of the tub

in the only bathroom in the house

of my lover of thirty years ago

on my first visit to his home

to meet the wife and kids

although he has been a fixture

all these years in the home

in my dreams;

reaching for a towel and wondering

if anyone could hear

the jackhammer of my heart

or if the wattage of my gaze

hurt their eyes as we smiled

over a perfect pot roast at dinner,

cooing and clucking at our past

like a puppy under the table,

careful not to slip it any scraps

lest it sit up boldly and beg;

finding not the sturdy terry-cloth

that was there when i came in,

but the blue leg of his pajamas

dangling by the waist string

over the hook

on the back of the door.

“We’ve changed,”

i whispered to the worn soft cotton,

gathered in both hands

and pressed against my face,

“back then we never wore pajamas.”

© dana hughes 1.13.16