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With Tom, the excitement is my opening the door to his slow smile.

I notice his silver wedding band only on occasion, sometimes in the kitchen while he’s making broth from cilantro, garlic peels and shrimp shells, sometimes in the bedroom when he reaches over me to bind my wrists to the bed frame.

* * * In the beginning, the glimmer of possibilities weaves through our conversations, our inflections, our pauses.

We’re new to each other, not just our bodies but the stories we tell.

It wasn’t the photo’s existence, that evidence of his infidelity, that bothered him so much as how he looked in it: stocky and slightly thick from a surplus of alcohol and food and a lack of exercise.

I arrived late at Dan’s for a home-cooked meal that turned out to be Indian takeout instead.

* * * Married men didn’t figure among my fantasies when I first started daydreaming about romance, love and sex.

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Then came the florid compliments, the praising of my dress, my body, which was so different from that of his soon-to-be-ex-wife, my appearing years younger than 37, 38, 39.We even appear new to ourselves through the other’s admiring eyes.Nothing we say is brilliant or unique, but attraction makes everything shine. The encounters start to develop a familiar pattern, and a curdled contempt sometimes emerges.But now, finally, I was having sex, on my futon sofa, the kitchen countertop, the dining room table, the streaky Saltillo-tile living room floor, the blanket spread on the rough carpet of an empty apartment belonging to a former lover of his, the hotel bed with its limp, worn coverlet and sheets.With Dan, the excitement was climbing the steps to his third-floor apartment.