when she looks at him; when the eyes she’s relied on all her life take a moment to adjust and eventually find him he often wishes tears really could heal. from a distance on this particular morning he notes the cataracts in his wife’s eyes and her greying hair and wisps of white at her temples. he notes their matching pearly incandescence and the alarming regality in which she wears these traits. she presses her face closer to the mirror to see him better and laughs when she is nose to nose with her reflection and lets the condensation of her breath further obscure him from her view. she motions for him to come closer and she proceeds to finish brushing her hair up and off of her face. he notes the severity in which she now wears her hair and he also remembers her in her wedding dress and her hair far too mature for her age; the only time in her youth she had ever restrained her hair. he remembers… and so he stops her hands now and takes the brush from her grasp. she turns her head and he notes the rustle of her robe and he remembers the shuffle of music sheets, the rhythm of a metronome, and the feel of worn ivory. the scent of her is now baby powder and ylang ylang but he remembers lilies of the valley and reading pound on the steps of the library. and when she holds him close he sees in his mind the small scar on her lower abdomen and the stretch marks. he remembers secrets uncovered in the moonlight and the veiling noise of the transistor radio on many occasions. he also remembers how close he nearly came to loosing her and how those marks were left by death’s stealing grip. most of all on this morning, he understands that had been then and this was now, and just as she has always seen him he knows that she can take comfort in the fact that he will never stop.