I cannot touch you enough
before it is time to go.
This cannot be what love is;
rash, sudden, complete.
The world, not faint and tainted
my view consistently: you.
I live with the awareness of her in me.
Does all of this intend to break
Or mend an unbendable soul?
The difference in having daughters
Linda chuckled when I returned
her call, explaining I’d missed hers –
“getting fitted for a crown.”
Immersed in princess and castles,
her assumption was not for tooth, but head.
The world of sons is different –
matchbox cars and airplanes
dinosaurs and wrestling.
I bought them babies once, and for a time
they stayed tucked tight in strollers,
paraded from living room to kitchen
Until they discovered the cacophony of sounds
made in baby stroller collisions
on newly mopped floors.
Mermaids used to visit bathtimes
and weekly, they’d plead for matching
toe nail polish to mine.
But roles engendered at playdates and daycare
Are too ensconced to be unlearned.
So princesses wait in far off towers
At Linda’s house, while demolition derbies
and the only crown in ours
is the one between my molars.