Often I wake to the sound of his pacing downstairs, stalking sleep from room to room, water running in a glass, dishes clinking in the sink. Back when I smoked, I'd rise too, any excuse to glow in the dark. Late summer nights, I'd kick my legs over his, nude beneath my night shirt, letting the tide of his voice wash over me. Specters billowed from my cigarette out the open window, a generously animate moonlit float carrying off our words as it drifted. These days, hitched, child-bound, strapped for time, my sleep is a noun that needs protecting. I pull the covers close while he stirs his 3 AM polenta, spare my feet the sand on the floor, the memory of salt in the air.