I spy anger in the sharp of her eyes
and the flash of tongue over teeth.
She sinks, thumbs plastic cusp of cup
and growls a deep theatric moan.

I know her mind’s still wild. Her child brain
hides black desires and fragile dreams
from our adult eyes. We pry.

She says she wants to be a vet. She wants
to rescue horses, save pets from fevers
and wrap wailing puppies in blankets.

She doesn’t yet know chemistry labs,
love rolled up in sex, the sting of
the first swallow with your so-called friends.
Of Mom’s secret shelves and Dad of the past.

Now she has the trouble of finding
a bus buddy. Of spelling C-L-O-S-E
and writing a’s, circle first.

She’s angry and it pulls at me-
the urge to grab her straw blonde head
and kiss the silky dirty hair in disarray.
She’s angry and for that I love her.

Peach Beneath My Skin

Sometimes I press my fingers into the flesh beneath my belly button, to check
just in case, for symptoms of a new life.
Unlikely, yet still I monitor myself, awaiting seasick swells in morning light.

My fingers aren’t crossed for luck. But yes, I want to be safety.
I wish to be the world for someone, if only for those months.
You said I’d support you if you wanted to keep it as if it
were growing limbs already within my tissue.

It would only complicate my life. There are other lines
I need to cast first, to love you in a happier way.

I never thought how a child would mean you & I are forever combined.
You bite a crunchy white unripe peach and
I see a child’s skin and fragile skull, crushed between your teeth.