It was our little ritual. Handfuls of SMS kisses. Brief conversations without much substance whose purpose was simply the contact, the exchange of tendernesses that was the closest we could come in the working day to physical touch.
Now I am in Belgrade for some extended R&R (there are few lures more powerful than those of free babysitters) we conduct our exchanges mostly via Skype-with-webcam but the phone still holds a special magic. At night, after the baby is asleep and I'm getting ready to drift off we call each other to say goodnight. Usually the connection is good enough that if I shut my eyes I can pretend we are in the same room. Curling up I nestle into the phone as though it were his shoulder, the crook of his arm. I shut my eyes. I trail my hand over the sheets across the empty half of the bed, resurrecting a body that's familiar and beloved. Skin has a long memory. My own shivers pleasantly in response to his voice. The palm of my hand reaches out, seeks cheek, collarbone, shoulder, the cords of muscle. My fingers tickle the cove of his elbow, my sigh teases his throat. I can feel myself loosening, drifting, softening at the seams. I reach beyond the confines of my body, I slip out of the window, inhabit the air, and the night. Springtime and the smell of dust and stone flows towards him, while the sounds of our garden and the quiet gravity of the curtains in his room seep out from the receiver.
The yearning. Almost like another being in the room.
And the last thing before sleep. Our voices meeting, touching like hands in the space. I love you. I love you. Goodnight. Goodnight.